Interview with Michelle Mitchell


To coincide with the launch of our Agenda for Later Life 2012 conference, we asked Michelle Mitchell, Age UK's Charity Director, about the key issues and challenges for people in later life.

Listen to what she had to say by watching the video below:

Read a transcript of the video below:


What are the key issues currently at the forefront of public policy for older people?

Michelle Mitchell

Some of the biggest issues are, one, care in crisis. Our system is crumbling and older people up and down the country are getting care, which is worse and worse. We also have 1.8 million pensioners living in poverty struggling to make ends meet every day. And all of us including many pensioners are worried about the rising cost of living and the rising costs of energy.

So care, pensions and rising costs of living are key issues at the moment for us.


What challenges does the present economic climate pose for older people?

Michelle Mitchell

The tough economic environment that we are living in is very worrying, and this is even more so after the Chancellor's announcement that those tight spending limits will continue to 2017. We are concerned that the money isn’t going to be there to reform the care and support system, which is in crisis at the moment, and the money to lift those 1.8 million pensioners out of poverty.


What are the main challenges and opportunities of an ageing population?

Michelle Mitchell

The fact that we are living longer is a source of celebration. Later life can be a time of joy when you spend time with your grandchildren, you pursue new hobbies, you are active in your community and that you are working perhaps part time and/or working longer.

But it also can present challenges in terms of low income in retirement, poor care and support, and sometimes an NHS, which doesn’t deliver the quality of services for older people.

And that’s why our conference is so important: you can find out about the issues that matter and what the solutions to those problems are.

[Transcript ends]

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