What Brexit means for our older population
Published on 09 August 2019 06:25 PM
As the UK is now potentially less than three months away from exiting the European Union, Age UK has assembled a list of questions we have received from older people, their families and those who work with them about what the possible consequences for them may be.
They cover a wide range of topics of particular significance to our older population, including access to medicines, the care workforce, and your rights if you are a UK citizen living in the European Union or a EU citizen living in the UK.
Age UK has produced a short paper that sets out these questions, together with some context and commentary from the Charity.
The uncertainty over what will happen in the next few months is a source of anxiety for many older people who, especially if they are not very well, are likely to find it more difficult to deal with unforeseen events and any practical disruption to their day to day lives than the rest of us. The sooner their minds can be put at rest about these kinds of worries the better.
The questions asked in the paper concern:
• How the Government intends to ensure that older people’s rights and freedoms aren’t weakened and undermined after a departure from the EU
• How the Government will ensure that the oldest and most vulnerable EU citizens in the UK eligible under the EU Settlement Scheme can claim their right to reside, and eligibility for healthcare, benefits and pensions, if they fail to meet the time limit
• In the event of a ‘no deal’ departure, how the Government will protect the rights of older UK citizens living in the EU
• If older UK citizens currently living in the EU decide to return to the UK post-Brexit, how the Government will ensure their speedy access to housing, care and benefits
• How the Government will ensure that we maintain enough health and care workers as EU nationals currently account for 166,000[i] of them
• How confident the Government is that older people will continue to have access to the medicines and medical supplies they depend on
• What the Government will do to ensure effective cross-border prevention and control of communicable diseases which older people, along with others, may be at risk of contracting
• How the Government will ensure that departing from the EU does not undermine older people’s consumer rights.
• How the Government will ensure that older people who have pensions or savings in a different EU country can easily, safely and affordably access their money
• How the Government will ensure that vulnerable older people continue to have access to food and other essentials if there are shortages.
Download the paper