Older People's Minister called for
Published on 30 September 2013 01:00 PM
Leading charities have called on the Government to take action to meet the needs of an ageing population, after a poll revealed that more than three-quarters of people believe ministers are 'not ready' for the impact of such a trend.
A total of 77% quizzed in a survey carried out by older people's housing and care provider, Anchor, claimed they did not think that government officials had a strategy to cope with the changing demographics of the UK.
Roughly the same proportion felt that a Cabinet member should be given responsibility to make sure plans are put in place to prepare for an ageing society, according to the Ready for Ageing Alliance, which is made up of eight leading charities.
With the number of people over the age of 90 having tripled in the last three decades, 84% of people questioned said that more education in how to plan for the future and save for care costs was necessary.
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics showed there has also been a rise in the number of centenarians in England and Wales since 1981 - from 2,420 people to 12,320 last year.
'There is a real need for a strong voice for older people'
Age UK makes up the Ready for Ageing Alliance along with the Alzheimer's Society, Anchor, Carers UK, the Centre for Policy on Ageing, Independent Age, the International Longevity Centre UK and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Jane Ashcroft, chief executive of Anchor, had a warning for government ministers when she said that effective demographic planning was 'crucial' in providing a happier old age for future generations.
A total of 137,000 people signed an Anchor petition calling for a Minister for Older People, and Ms Ashcroft warned that the Government cannot 'bury its head in the sand on the issue'.
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director General of Age UK said, 'There is a real need for a strong voice for older people working in the heart of government, someone who will hold it to account.
'The ageing population is a challenge for any government, and what we need is someone who will draw attention to the issues that affect older people and work to find the best way to make later life better for all.'
Copyright Press Association 2013