Older women and care: are they invisible to the sisterhood?

This blog is an edited version of an article appearing in the International Longevity Centre’s Compendium on Older Women, published for International Women’s Day. 

As women, we outlive men in nearly all parts of the world, outnumbering our male counterparts across the globe by 100 million. But though we live longer than men and are stronger in number, we are also likely to spend more years in poor health.

This is reflected in the gender profile of users of health and social care. Across OECD countries ¾ of long-term care users are women. Older women are therefore disproportionately affected by inadequacies of care and support.

Paradoxically, though, older women are also the main providers of care. photographer: Claudia JankeAcross OECD countries 2/3 of informal carers aged 50+ are female. In developing countries, in addition to informal care, a significant amount of the care older women provide is as a grandparent to children whose parents have migrated or have been killed by HIV/AIDS or conflict. Continue reading “Older women and care: are they invisible to the sisterhood?”

State pension age – last chance for fairer reforms

There’s one last opportunity coming up for MPs to introduce changes to state pension age in a fairer way. The Pensions Bill currently before Parliament brings forward increases to state pension age. It would equalise men’s and women’s state pension age at 65 in November 2018, and then raise it to 66 by April 2020 – six years early than planned. This would result in nearly 5 million people having to wait longer than expected to draw their state pension. Among these are 330,000 women who will have to wait 18 to 24 months longer. At Age UK we believe these changes are happening too quickly without giving people time to rework their retirement plans.

We are currently awaiting a date for Report Stage and Third Reading in the House of Commons – the final opportunity for MPs to make changes. This could be in the week starting the 12 September.

We are encouraged that Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Duncan Smith, has said he wants to implement changes fairly and get the transition right. We are urging the Government to reconsider the position and at the very least introduce measures to protect those who would be most affected. For more information and details about how to get involved see http://www.ageuk.org.uk/get-involved/campaign/state-pension-age-campaign/