With the certainty of a hung Parliament (thank you Poll of Polls) Independent Age and the International Longevity Centre-UK co-hosted an event inviting representatives from across the ageing sector to discuss the priorities for the new Government to make the UK a better country to grow older in.
The evening began with Independent Age sharing key findings from a survey, carried out on our behalf by YouGov. The survey explored public attitudes towards the support needs of people aged 65+.
Main themes of 2030 Vision
YouGov reflected on the findings that related most to the feedback we received from our 2030 Vision consultation:
- older people can live comfortably with the money that they need
- stay connected to their families and the world around them
- can live healthily and get the health and care services they need
- live free from discrimination and make an active contribution in later life.
Judging from the reaction in the room (or attic as one guest tweeted) one of the most surprising findings from the survey was the fact that people between the ages of 65 and 74 were the group who expressed the greatest level of concern regarding their financial security. This goes against the conventional wisdom that all ‘baby boomers’ are universally well off. Similarly, the finding that one in three adults of any age are concerned about someone aged 65+ proves that current debate centred on intergenerational conflict does not reflect the way we really live our lives.
Our three guest panellists, Caroline Abrahams (Age UK), Claire Turner (JRF) and Paul Cann (Campaign to End Loneliness) gave their impressions of how issues affecting older people had been (or had not been) addressed during the election campaign and what this might mean for future developments.
It was evident from all the discussions that concerns regarding funding for social care persist and that services for older people should be better integrated. Colleagues were clear that in a number of cases further improvements require more funding but that there are also many things which can be achieved through improved administration and some lateral thinking in Government.
Letter to the Prime Minister
Following the election result Independent Age used the ideas shared on the night to write an open letter to the Prime Minister outlining what we think his priorities need to be in the next Parliament. We were delighted to receive the support of fifteen organisations from the voluntary, commercial and academic communities for the letter. The letter generated over 150 mentions in local and national press. We believe we have made a great start to communicating the aspirations of 2030 Vision to the new Government. We look forward to continuing to make this case through our forthcoming report.