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Patients and doctors were conspicuous in their absence

Leading article: A society lacking in humanity

It is not enough to be shocked at the report by the Health Service Ombudsman into the care of old people in Britain's hospitals, which found thousands of examples of patients who were left hungry, thirsty, unwashed, in soiled clothes, and without adequate pain relief. We have had report after report, and platitude after platitude in official responses, but nothing seems to change. Why? It is not a question of money. New Labour has pumped billions in extra resources into healthcare.

Video: Hero carer slows runaway wheelchair

A Chinese carer has been badly injured after clinging on to a patient's wheelchair as it plunged down a shop travelator.

Minister promises new checks on elderly care

The ordeal faced by the grandmother of the Independent columnist Johann Hari as she was shunted between residential homes over 10 years was condemned as appalling last night by the Care Services minister.

Leading article: Older people deserve much better

We led yesterday's Independent with Johann Hari's harrowing account of his grandmother's 10-year peregrination through what passes for a care home system.

102-year-old man held on DNA database

A man who is 102-years old is the oldest person to have his DNA stored on the national database.

A warm front: The truth about your front garden

The best way to get to know the people down your street is to get working on that patch just outside your door, says Emma Townshend

Webcast- Safe, warm and well: Top tips for winter

In our live webTV show Arlene Phillips and Ian Scott from charity WRVS offer advice for helping your elderly relatives and neighbours through the winter months.

Carers could earn 'credits' towards own future care

A scheme allowing people who help the elderly or disabled to earn time credits for their own care later in life is being considered by ministers, it emerged today.

Elderly meals get healthy dose of nutrition advice

The quality of meals served to old people is set to improve – at least that is the aim of guidelines published today. They advise how many calories each meal should contain as well as advice on key ingredients, such as fruit and vegetables, salads and protein.

On Ageing, Young Vic, London

Plenty of children in theatre are played by 25-year-old actors trying to look naive.

Hundreds of care residents abused

Hundreds of elderly people and younger adults with disabilities may have been abused or put at risk by inadequate care homes and agencies, a regulator has warned.

Duck eggs linked to salmonella

Duck eggs are suspected of causing an outbreak of salmonella which has struck down dozens of people and may have killed a pensioner.

Revealed: why risk of infertility and birth defects rises with age

Study pins blame on declining protein levels

Knocked for Six's notes from the Underground

Whether you are shoved up against someone's armpit or stuck next to a touchy-feely couple, there is nowhere quite like the tube for being up close and personal. Now Knocked for Six, a writing collective who met last year on the Royal Court's Unheard Voices programme, have turned their tube experiences into an evening of short plays entitled End of the Line: Tales on the Tube.

Falls suffered by elderly cost £4.6m a day

Falls among elderly people cost the NHS more than £4.6m a day, new analysis has found. About 3.4 million people over the age of 65 fall each year in the UK – or almost one in three. Almost half of all falls are among the over-80s, half of whom fall again in the following year.

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Actor Burt Reynolds last year
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Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
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Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game