Happy older man shaking hands with a younger one

A Fair Deal For Older People

It is time we valued those in later life.

By John Coleman

The older community are bearing the brunt of the Cost of Living Crisis. Ever rising food prices and the spiralling cost of energy are hitting those on fixed incomes hardest. The older community are making huge sacrifices to get through daily life and the short term support being given isn’t really dealing with a long-term problem.

Cost of Living Crisis

A recent survey by Action For Elders found that more than 90% of older people feel the cost of living crisis has destroyed the fabric of their daily lives. The figures told a grim tale of neglect and lack of long term thinking about the future of our ageing population. The survey told of the hugely negative effect rising costs were having on the mental and physical health of the older population.

“I only put the heating on when I struggle to breath,” said one older resident.

The question frequently asked is: “How can a civilised society allow these circumstances to happen to older people?” The survey highlighted just how unfairly older people are being treated. The Cost of Living survey and the plight of those older people is featured in the i Newspaper.

The Value of Our Older Population

Despite the negative experiences of so many of the older generation, those in later life have never been more in demand. Businesses are recognising the skills of older people and actively recruiting them for their experience and reliability. The Government has a network of ‘50PLUS champions’ in place to help those in later life get back to work but more has to be done to give charities the resources to help people stay fit, well and connected. Projects such as Action For Elders Balanced Lives Hubs are well placed to do this, but these projects need to be expanded.

Getting a Job Over 50

The Government are desperate to tempt those that retired early to return to the workforce, but is enough being done; in the words of Jeremy Hunt to “make it worth their while” to come back into the workplace? James Reed, chief executive of recruitment firm Reed maintains that “ageism is still a problem” but he has some handy tips for getting a job if you are over 50

A Better Quality of Later Life

For those in retirement, staying fit and healthy is all important. It means less visits to hospital and more chance of avoiding falls and staying active socially. Providing a better quality of life for the older population is a win-win for those in power, as it saves on health and social care. Surely, A Fair Deal For Older People should be our number one priority moving forward as a society.

About the Author

John Coleman is Communications Director for Action for Elders and a regular contributor to the Sunday Times.

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