Thursday 30th April 2015; Bloomsbury, London; 17:45 (for an 18:00 start) – 19:45, followed by a drinks reception.
With a week to go until the General Election took place, ILC-UK and Independent Age organised a debate on Thursday 30th April. Away from the heat and fury of the election campaign, we hoped to create a chance to have a real debate to identify the most important priorities for all political parties, if the UK is truly going to rise to the challenge of a rapidly ageing population, in the next Parliament.
Following the 2014 launch of 2030 Vision: The Best and Worst Futures for Older People in the UK, Independent Age invited more than 30 opinion formers and leading charities and think tanks to blog their views on what we need to do to get ready for demographic change. The blogs kick-started a consultation which saw over 300 people respond, sharing their own hopes and fears of growing older in the UK. The results of this consultation were published in Independent Age’s November 2014 document, ‘2030 Vision: What we have learnt’ – http://www.independentage.org/media/894910/2030visioninterim.pdf.
Six big themes emerged:
Ageist attitudes still exist and many people worry they will face discrimination or becoming hidden members of society
Older people worry about the cost of living and many fear they are being financially squeezed
Older people are increasingly concerned about the future quality and sustainability of health and social care services
Older people worry about feeling lonely, but they also have concerns about feeling cut off as digital services increasingly replace face-to-face service provision
Older people want to continue making a positive contribution to their neighbourhoods and communities
Older people have a keen sense of what’s fair and how their contributions should be rewarded in retirement, but they also worry about how their children and grandchildren will fare
During this debate we considered older people’s main concerns as identified in the consultation and identified the priority areas that any incoming government should focus on. We hope to include these in an open letter which would be sent to the leaders of the three main political parties after the election, outlining how organisations working on older people’s issues believe we can build a better future for older people in the UK.
Speakers and panellists included: Briony Gunstone (YouGov), Caroline Abrahams (Age UK), Claire Turner (JRF) and Paul Cann (Campaign Management Group Partner at Campaign to End Loneliness; CEO, Age UK [Oxfordshire]). The event was chaired by Baroness Sally Greengross (ILC-UK) and Janet Morrison (Independent Age)
Following the debate, delegates were invited to join us for wine and canapés. BBC Question Time, with David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg, presented by David Dimbleby was shown during this drinks reception.