OLDER PEOPLE’S LIVES ARE GETTING WORSE

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Conference
2009 Retired Members' Conference
Date
23 June 2009
Decision

A report One Voice: Shaping Our Ageing Society was launched on 7 April by Age Concern and Help the Aged to mark the formation of their new charity. The report examined the issues facing older people in the UK, such as poverty, age discrimination, isolation and lack of care and support.

The report claims that one in four older people, the equivalent of nearly 2.5 million individuals, say that their quality of life has deteriorated in the previous 12 months, whilst a further two thirds of people aged 65 and over (66%) say their lives have not improved at all.

Key findings worsened include:

60% of people aged 65 and over believe older people suffer widespread age discrimination;

19% of pensioners living below the poverty line;

68% of people aged 65 and over believe politicians see older people as a low priority;

11% of people aged 65 and over perceive themselves to be often or always lonely.

The report highlights the fact that despite the economic conditions dominating the headlines, the Government must address the issues of an ageing society. Beneath the shocking statistics are real life human tragedies – avoiding the issues is no longer an option.

Therefore Conference requests that the National Retired Members’ Committee work with the new charity formed by Age Concern and Help the Aged to address the issues identified by the report and pursue as appropriate the priorities identified by the report which include the following:

i.Roll out of automatic payment of benefits to ensure pensioners have enough money to make ends meet and reduce form-filling;

ii.Extra spend of £1.2 billion on older people’s social care as part of any fiscal stimulus;

iii.Creation of a national service to meet older people’s wide range of needs.