The government should introduce a robust review process for policies to make sure they do not disadvantage older people, Housing 21 and Counsel and Care have said.
In a joint response to the government’s consultation on its ageing strategy, which closes today, the charities also called on councils and government to actively engage with older people.
The report, also backed by think-tank the Fabian Society, suggested this would involve the creation of a forum for older people which would have the power to examine and shape policy at Westminster.
The three organisations ran a series of events to discuss the issues raised in the government’s Building A Society For All Ages strategy, published in July, before incorporating the opinions expressed into today’s report.
Older people matter
The report suggested the publication of an older people’s policy framework along the lines of Every Child Matters, which ensures all children’s services are working towards the same five outcomes.
Head of policy at Housing 21 Jane Minter said the bodies were not being prescriptive about what the government should do but rather trying to shape the agenda of the discussion on older people’s services and ageing. “The time is right because people are waking up to the fact that ageing does matter, not just for organisations that deal with older people but organisations across the sector,” she said.
The strategy proposed establishing one-stop-shops for middle-aged people to obtain information on health, social care and other services, allowing them to prepare for older age. The government also announced a review of the default retirement age of 65 and promised more support for people caring for grandchildren.