The awards are our way, together with our event sponsor, Barchester Healthcare, to thank and reward those journalists who are helping to bring older people’s issues up the agenda and who are moving away from age-related stereotyping and instead dealing with the issues in a sensitive and informed way.
We’re taking nominations from across the media: from hard hitting writing or programming which helps bring older people’s issues to the fore, to the best portrayals of older people in films or TV drama, to emotive or celebratory photography.
Winners from previous years have included, amongst others, BBC1 Controller, Danny Cohen for his brave and groundbreaking season of BBC1 documentaries, When I’m 65, Dame Maggie Smith for her feisty, funny portrayal of the Dowager Lady Grantham in Downton Abbey, and Louis Theroux for his sensitive exploration of living with dementia in his documentary, Extreme Love. But the awards have also recognised the excellence of lesser-known names such as dementia care worker and social media enthusiast, Darren Gormley, who last year saw off a host of media heavyweights such as BBC1’s Panorama, Channel 4’s Dispatches and BBC News to be crowned the event’s champion of champions.
A full list of the categories, criteria and an online submission form are all available in the Media Awards section of our website.
Our excitement was, however quickly muted following the Serious Case Review of the Orchid View care home which revealed serious failings. 19 older people died at the home where the quality of care was heavily criticised – five of those deaths had been attributed to by neglect. The review stated that the problems at the home were from the top down and started at an early stage, but nobody did anything to address them. They included a lack of respect for the dignity of residents, poor nutrition and hydration and mismanagement of medication.
Our view is that following this and other scandals care home providers must do more to reassure the public that there is zero tolerance of abuse. Public confidence in the care sector is worryingly low and the care business must open itself up to greater scrutiny and ensure staff are properly trained and managed. Relatives must be allowed to be more involved if safeguarding issues are raised to avoid any repeat of this horrific case.