The Ready for Ageing Alliance has launched its manifesto for action, ‘Getting Ready for Ageing’.
After previously releasing an eleven point prescription to help individuals prepare for ageing, the Ready for Ageing Alliance now calls on policymakers to wake up to both the challenges and opportunities that are arising from our ageing society.
The Ready for Ageing Alliance was formed in 2013 following publication of the ‘Filkin report’ and its conclusion that we as a country were nowhere near ready for an ageing population. The aim of members Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, Anchor, Carers UK; Centre for Policy on Ageing, the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK), Independent Age and Joseph Rowntree Foundation is to make the case for action to ensure that our society makes the most of our ageing population.
The manifesto sets out detailed recommendations for public policy covering housing; health & social care; the economy and communities and calls for Government to take the lead, with a single point of contact, at Cabinet level, responsible for age and ageing policy.
Getting Ready for Ageing also calls on the Government to:
- Stop seeing ageing as being just about older people – if we wait until we are 60 or 70 to prepare we’ll have left it too late. That’s why the Alliance wants everyone to be sent a pack at 50 giving information and advice.
- End age discrimination – Legislation has gone some way to preventing discrimination on grounds of age but bizarrely financial services are exempt and hidden discrimination remains in many walks of life
- Stop operating hospitals on a model designed for the past – Staff/patient ratios on hospital wards for older patients are often lower than on general wards, yet older people often need more help – e.g. to eat and drink
- Stop undervaluing the over 65s, who currently spend a massive £2.2 billion a week and contribute £61billion to the economy through employment, icaring and volunteering.
- Stop ignoring the fact that many older workers are forced to leave the labour market early. Start building more flexible work opportunities to make it possible for family members of all ages juggle work and care for older relatives.