ItsMyAge Issues Challenge on Government Priorities
When asked to list their top three concerns the future, the UK's over 40's are more than twice as concerned about 'Britons behaving badly' (66% concerned about crime and antisocial behaviour) as about their care in old age (25%). This figure not only challenges the Home Office's official figure of just 18% of us being concerned about antisocial behaviour, but suggests the government is focussing on the wrong issues.
"The UK's treatment of the elderly is a national scandal", said Colin Bayliss, the editor of the ItsMyAge website, who commissioned the research from NOP. "With the increasing 'demographic timebomb', it's an issue that will become ever more pronounced. The government seems to be in denial."
ItsMyAge, launched today, is a brand new website for those who care for and about the UK's aging population, providing information and a forum to share experiences. Its new research highlights some disturbing trends.
"76% of people have heard about physical violence by care home staff towards residents, 49% about theft in care homes, so it's perhaps unsurprising that the figures are so out of kilter, even when you think about ageing", said Mr. Bayliss. "This needs addressing urgently. We should all be reaping the rewards of hard work and tax money in old age, not worrying about what's around the corner."
Already, the government's provision for care in old age is a fragmented postcode lottery, having been devolved by Central Government to already stretched local councils. From the research commissioned for the ItsMyAge site, only a third of respondents (34%) are focussing our concerns for the future on pensions.
"The rot goes deep", Mr. Bayliss explained. "People are afraid of crime and antisocial behaviour, yet only a handful of our elected representatives turned up to the knife crime debate. They're far less worried about terrorism (23%), yet that debate played to a full house."
Care for the elderly has yet to really register on the political radar. "The truth of the matter is that we are all more likely to be victims of age related conditions and shoddy pension provision than of suffering the more serious impacts of crime, " Bayliss added. "Whilst the fact that one in four of the over 40s (25%) worry about old age care and one in three (34%) worry about pensions is not insignificant, we are largely in denial about the issues that an aging population has in store for us – issues that the Government has a duty to address now."
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