Election Alert-  12th December 2019.

This election is critical for the future of the country. The Vale 50+ Forum is non-political but will encourage older people to be aware of the issues and use their vote to make their voices heard. Engage with candidates on broad national issues and also issues of particular concern to older people. Some of the key issues candidates can be questioned about are:

SOCIAL CARE:  What are your policies on the shortfall of funding for social care and the reform of the funding system for social care? The Forum has consistently argued that the fairest funding system is through general taxation like the health service.

HEALTH SERVICES: How should health services respond to the increase in the numbers of older people in the population? Does the education and training of doctors, nurses and other health staff reflect  the knowledge and skills needed to treat older people with efficiency, dignity and respect?

PUBLIC TRANSPORT:  Many older people have no access to a car or are unable to drive and rely on public transport, especially buses.  How can  bus services be improved to enable older people to participate in community life?

HOUSING and ENVIRONMENT: Are housing  policies  and public space and facilities user friendly for older and people with disabilities? What can be done to ensure  that community environments, shops and public offices are dementia friendly?

CLIMATE CHANGE:  Older people have lived through difficult times,  brought up families and are often caring for grandchildren and partners. They have contributed to the community through their working lives  , are a bulwark of voluntary services and want to see future generations able to live in a safe environment. What are election candidates willing to do to prevent climate change reaching unsustainable levels?

PENSIONS:  What steps will candidates take to ensure that future generations of older people will have adequate pensions to sustain a decent standard of living? Our current levels of pension are amongst the lowest in Europe, with many older people living in poverty. Is this acceptable in a civilised society?

When canvassers call or you attend public meetings have questions ready to put to candidates. Remind politicians that older people are not a burden but an asset to the whole community. Public discourse increasingly frames the image of older people  as frail , a burden and non-productive- this ageism has to be fought against at every opportunity.

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