Loneliness saps the will to live and can be a major cause of depression, as one 80-year-old lady told me "I wake each morning, get dressed, and sit on my bed waiting for death. I have nothing else to look forward to." ChildLine has proved, as Samaritans proved before it, that an anonymous helpline can break through the barriers of shame or fear. So I suggested that The Silver Line might do the same for the older generation, and enable callers to disclose not just their loneliness, but incidents of neglect and abuse they dared not admit to anyone else. And so it has proved.
How do you feel about the idea of needing someone to dress you, wash you, help you to the toilet or change your incontinence pads, feed you, give you medication, move you around, and enable you to watch the TV programmes of your choosing or listen to the music that you love?
Recent Office for National Statistics figures suggest the trend for 'silver separators' is still building - with divorces among the over 60s up a startling 58% in 2012 compared with 2011. This is no blip.
So what is the standard treatment for leg ulcers in the UK? Unfortunately it has still not moved on from the dressing and compression treatment so popular 100 years ago.
I hate St. Valentine's Day. I can't do romance on prescription. So, this year, as I do every year, I leave my three children with some relatives, book a night in a hotel in Dublin, with dinner for two thrown in, and take a deep breath. Fun? I don't think so.
The government's common sense decision to scrap the compulsory retirement age in 2011 and let people freely work beyond 65 was one of the most rational legislations ever passed. However there is still a lot of work to do on changing the perception of older workers and employers' attitudes towards them.
Arthritis Research UK has commissioned an evidence-based report looking at how effective complementary therapies are for treating arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions. Very little evidence was found in support of commonly-used therapies such as copper and magnetic therapy. But the therapies that were shown to be the most effective are...
It turned out it wasn't gout, or osteoarthritis but something potentially nastier. The bloods revealed a high reading for rheumatoid factor. Jane was going to live the rest of her life battling rheumatoid arthritis.
The moral imperative to root out ageism in the NHS now has legal backing, following the recent expansion of the age-related provisions of the 2010 Equality Act to include services. All public sector organisations must eliminate unequal treatment on the grounds of age. But where do we start in cancer care?
This focus on the very young is perhaps a natural reflex, yet we mustn't allow it to blind us to the needs of older people. As a doctor myself, and currently president of an international medical humanitarian organisation operating in emergencies around the world, I want to challenge our sense that we should always focus first on the needs of the very young in emergencies.
Unfortunately there is a public perception of varicose veins which labels them as purely cosmetic and relatively unimportant, rather than a serious health issue which requires due care and attention.
Whilst developers have started catching on, the industry has a way to go in order to be fully up-to-speed with the intersection of women and gaming. So, how exactly do different demographics perceive gaming and what is the generational effect that is caused by these viewpoints?
What would you like for christmas? I ask 93-year-old Winnie at the end of my daily morning visit. 'just a bit of company', she replies with a somewhat sad smile.
We did a survey recently and three quarters of the people we asked wanted an alternative to a care home if they become dependent in older age. We believe this means there is a need for innovative thinking to revolutionise long-term care, including how it is delivered and what it should look like.
The pressure to make enough money to support everyone, whilst bringing up two young children and running a business is hard. The emotional turmoil of seeing your parents decline is hard enough in itself.
Christmas can also be the time when early signs of dementia first become apparent. Here at Alzheimer's Society, we often see a spike in the number of calls our Helpline receives just after Christmas, so we really do appreciate how difficult a time of year this can be.