I’m really delighted to see Anchor’s Grey Pride campaign starting to gather some serious following. There were 81,000 signatures on the petition last time I checked, click here for more details.
We do need a Minister for Older People because there are so many areas where Government is currently missing a trick. In our own arena for instance, a designated minister could help champion purpose-built age-related communities – communities such as these, not only improve the quality of life for older people but save the Government money and free up the nation’s housing stock, making it a win-win situation for everyone.
But the Government needs to take heed – this role must not patronise older people.
We are a bunch of articulate and demanding people (yes, I include myself among this growing population) who know a bit about life and how to live it and, as we get older, we want to support ourselves and retain our independence.
The Government needs to take the wishes of older people properly into account and that means making it easier for this generation to help themselves.
Again, back to our own experiences at Retirement Villages – instead of using the planning system to frustrate new housing provision for older people, the Government should make it a positive requirement.
And instead of separating social care and NHS budgets that disincentivise providers from promoting healthier living and so leave older people languishing in NHS beds unnecessarily, let’s have some joined up thinking (property and health go hand in hand, see this piece by Caroline Hawkings, policy officer at the HBF.
And so the list for a prospective Minster for Older People goes on….
We welcome the appointment. Whatever guise their job description eventually takes, one thing is for certain, they are going to be kept very busy!