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Dr. Tony Burch - Why London's Older Generation Need To Be Protected This Winter

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Trustee at Age UK and Former GP

After 30 years in General Practice in NW London, Dr Tony Burch recently retired and is now working part time for Health Education North West London, setting up and supporting Education Networks in Primary Care.

For ten years Tony was GPSI for Older People, working firstly on whole system service change and development, and latterly also admitting step up patients to a local community hospital. He is also an examiner for the Diploma in Geriatric Medicine, which includes geriatricians, psychogeriatricians and GPs.

All of us share one thing in common.

We have elderly relatives, friends, neighbours, colleagues and of course strangers who live in our communities. With everything that has gone on this year, and with the colder temperatures and shorter days signalling the drastic change in seasons that accompanies the winter months, we must be more vigilant than ever.

Dr Burch specialised in medicine and care for the elderly and spent 14 years as an Age UK trustee in his local borough of Brent before 18 months ago when he joined the board of Age UK London. Their focus is on supporting older Londoners while working hard to promote London as an age-friendly city.

London is a whirlwind, a fast-paced metropolis with a population of over 9 million people, and many of those who made this city what it is, are the exact same one’s suffering most from the COVID-19 pandemic.

We need to address the balance and get London back on its feet, operating as the world-class environment we know and love, but not at the expense of the elderly and vulnerable.

It’s not just the threat of coronavirus; as we approach flu season, it’s important we share the message that now more than ever, namely that the older members of society need to be looked after, while those of us who are fit, healthy and able get back to doing what we do – working hard and prospering the economy and reinvesting in the businesses and people that make our communities thrive.

Take some time out today to check in with a relative, a neighbour or even a stranger, it’s down to us to get the ball rolling, don’t stand by and let this whole story unfold without playing your part. We’re in this together and we need your support.

We need science-based solutions and a pause from the constant fearmongering which is crippling the economy and obstructing our rationale. But, most importantly – we need a proportionate response to this virus.

Watch this incredible episode with Dr Burch as he discusses:

  • Public Health England’s latest data
  • The crisis in the care homes
  • How some of our elderly are dying of sadness
  • A lack of testing
  • Age UK and the importance of the flu vaccine

Download clips

A number of clips from this groundbreaking interview are now available to download, share and repost. Spread the word and defend our human rights: grab these clips today!

1. Social Distancing And Mental Health Of The Elderly
2. Socializing During Isolation
3. Care Homes
4. Rethink How We Value Our Older People
5. Care Homes Crisis
6. How Can Elderly Stay Healthy During Covid
7. Cold Season Tips

Chapters

00:00 | Trailer.
02:32 | Brian’s introduction.
04:01 | The mental and physical effects on the elderly of the Covid-19 lockdown and continuing restrictions.
06:40 | Importance to older people of touch and hugs with grandchildren.
07:43 | We all make a judgement of risk we will expose ourselves to but, we have to bear in mind the risk to others as well.
09:06 | Dr Tony Burch advocates keeping in touch with elderly people locally, some of whom with not speak to another person all week.
10:40 | Isolation does damage people, how to recognise that and take action to mitigate it.
13:23 | A lot to learn about how we care for our elderly and why some Care Homes were more affected than others by the initial wave of Coronavirus.
15:55 | Government needs to take action now on the long promised review of social care. We cannot any more ignore the crisis and we have as a society to look at how care as we age is funded
27:40 | Striking a balance between protecting parents, teachers and the elderly from Covid-19 whilst allowing children to return to school.
30:57 | It is really important for our balance, bone health and mental wellbeing to exercise daily and where to find helpful exercise ideas.
32:42 | Dr Tony Burch stresses the importance of a ‘flu jab for the elderly as winter months approach.
36:11 | Dr Tony Burch urges Government to get a grip on the Track and Trace service and calls for a public debate on how we care for our current elderly and our future selves and to be realistic about cost involved.
38:14 | We are social beings, make a little effort and make contact with an isolated older person.
40:02 | We will get through this, but we need to make it happen.
40:37 | Brian’s summing up.

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