Older people are fast becoming one of the largest groups in the United Kingdom: the country now has a greater number of people aged 60 and over than it does people aged 16 and under.
Life expectancy will only continue to increase, and our Government will face significant challenges as it prepares to serve the ageing population. The UK has no choice but to ensure that older people can live comfortably and enjoy dignity and respect in their later years.
Despite making up 40% of voters, there is no Government minister dedicated to the well-being of older people. Theresa May MP is Minister for Women; Sarah Teather MP is Minister of State for Children and Families, but as it stands, older people’s issues are scattered throughout various Government departments. What is sorely lacking is a centralised Government portfolio that prioritises the needs of older people and ensures that their views and interests receive dedicated attention.
Many governments around the world, including those of Ireland and Canada, currently have a dedicated Minister for older people, and it is high time the UK followed suit. Both Wales and Northern Ireland have appointed an Older People’s Commissioner, but all older people living in the UK deserve a centralised ministerial post that looks after their needs.
Anchor, England’s largest not-for-profit provider of care and housing, represents 42,000 older people and believes that they are our national treasure – people to be proud of; people to respect; people who deserve someone at the highest level to look after their interests.
We, therefore, call on our Government to provide real leadership for the UK’s older people: to listen to their issues, give voice to them, and help all UK citizens enjoy happy living in the years ahead.
to sign the petition click here