Working together to support older people

The Autumn Statement announced bleak growth figures and more cuts ahead, reminding us all, once again, we face hard times and unprecedented and prolonged pressure on public services many of which older people rely.

This is why now, more than ever, we all need –  the government, public, private, and voluntary sectors and individuals – to work together to meet the challenges and maximise the opportunities our growing ageing population presents.

Age UK, together with our national and local partners, is playing its part. In 2012 we reached over 7 million older people with our information and advice services, our handy person service visited nearly 14,000 homes and we helped more than 65,000 older people keep active and healthy through our Fit as a Fiddle programme. In tough economic times we understand supporting people in later life to make informed choices and maximise their wealth, health, independence and wellbeing is important for the individuals and helps drive down inefficient and unnecessary costs in our public services.

It is critical the Government does the same. We want to see action in 2013 in the following areas:

  • A Pensions Bill as announced in the Queen’s Speech to introduce a universal flat rate pension and to simplify the current complex system making it easier for people to plan and prepare for their retirement. This must be alongside a clear strategy and timetable to reduce the 1.7 million pensioners who currently live in poverty.
  • A Care and Support Bill which includes Andrew Dilnot’s recommendations to introduce a cap on the amount individuals pay for care.  This must be accompanied by a commitment to better fund social care that is so desperately needed.
  • Implementation of the Dignity in Care Commission’s recommendations by the government, health and public sectors to ensure that the Government and the health and care sector acts to deliver dignity for all. More widely we must make sure older people are supported to live happy and healthy lives through equal access to appropriate prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services.

Older people make an enormous contribution as carers, workers, consumers, volunteers, taxpayers and as members of communities across the UK. We need to work together to ensure that they are supported to meet their aspirations and to live rewarding later lives.

Find out more about Age UK’s Care in Crisis campaign

Read another blog by Michelle Mitchell

Author: Michelle Mitchell

Charity Director, Age UK

5 thoughts on “Working together to support older people”

  1. I’m afraid this made me laugh out loud “A Pensions Bill as announced in the Queen’s Speech to introduce a universal flat rate pension and to simplify the current complex system making it easier for people to plan and prepare for their retirement.” I’ve planned for my retirement twice already and had it put back both times by SPA increases, what’s the point of planning anything when this cold, uncaring, grasping, self serving government can snatch it all away? What happened to the fight against this injustice and why are older people being worked to death while youngsters can’t get jobs? Does anyone REALLY care about older people? Not if they were born in 1953/4 it seems.

  2. What is the point of a universal state pension when the people who have worked from 15 years of age will be lucky to be around to receive theirs, they are being forced to work longer and pay in contributions longer, their promised returns and freedom snatched away. They hadn’t sufficient notice to adjust their finances! Meanwhile young people languish on benefits and there can only be less and less jobs available for them as older people are not allowed to retire for their well earned rest unless they are privileged and have a private pension.
    This government make promises they never keep, they target the vulnerable and get away with it and age charities let them do it!

  3. It is disgraceful that the government can treat people this way particularly when they promised otherwise. This is stated in the Coalition’s document “The Coalition: Our Programme for Government”:

    “We will phase out the default retirement age and hold a review to set the date at which the state pension age starts to rise to 66, although it will not be sooner than 2016 for men and 2020 for women. We will end the rules requiring compulsory annuitisation at 75”.

    How much longer are we going to tolerate their lies and deceit. Please sign this petition to express your objection.

    It seems that people have accepted these changes including organisations like Age Uk, Saga etc. Although they actively campaigned against the proposed changes before they were made I would have expected them to instigate another campaign to reverse the law.

  4. if age uk really want to help older people (and the youngsters who will one day be old) they have to restart the fight AGAINST the state retirement age increase and allow people to retire at their expected age that they have worked all their lifes for and contributed enough into this country and free up the jobs for youngsters – this diabolical government seems to forget that “the aging population” are the people who have actually paid to keep this country ruuning financially for the last 50 years or so and now we are treated as a liability – we really need to get these goons out of government asap and get someone in who actually know how to run finances and have some respect for the older generation

  5. They also promised to end the frozen state pension injustice if they won the election. Just more pre-election lies. Politicians are liars and hypocrites who only care about their millionaire friends and their own fat gold plated pensions.

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