Is the ‘grey’ voice growing or is it just me? Has the UK woken up to the fact at long last that the population of the British Isles is becoming more top heavy by the day and it can’t be ignored?
Cynics may argue that recent newspaper headlines talking about radical shake-ups in care for the elderly are nothing more than vote winning sound bites.
Without any party political hat on, I’d like to think that this is the powers that be at last taking notice that winter is approaching and the older population in the UK need some attention. More of this please!
On a lighter yet just as important note, Age UK’s Big Knit campaign in conjunction with Innocent drinks has captured the public’s imagination, brought the issues down to grass roots level and resulted in action, funding for the charity, and let’s hope, ultimately some attitudinal changes for this generation.
There’s also the Campaign to End Loneliness which is highlighting some pretty compelling information about the age group and its behaviour, not least the recent research that revealed 75% of GPs believe that up to one in 10 older patients make a doctor’s appointment purely because they are lonely.
Behind the scenes, support organisations are also gathering pace and setting some real structure and direction to their work. Two of the largest social care provider representative bodies, English Community Care Association (ECCA) and National Care Association (NCA) have announced they are merging as a single, stronger voice to be called Care England, and will go live on 1st January 2014. This is encouraging to see organisations prepared to work together for the good of their end user.
Likewise, our own sector of retirement communities is combining its ideas and initiatives through our own trade association Associated Retirement Community Operators: http://arcouk.org/. The firm belief is that many combined voices are louder than when it comes to raising awareness of housing provision and housing needs for the older generation.
All in all, there appears to me to be a will and a more combined force of energy to start to proactively support older people, their needs and their rights, and that has to be a step in the right direction and a comfort for everyone.
Sales and Marketing Director