May 1, 2013 Leave a comment
We note and welcome a new coalition, The Ready for Ageing Alliance, formed to increase the pressure on Government and all political parties to face up to the major changes and challenges from our rapidly ageing society.
Like other commentators we wish it every good fortune but we have reservations. Some of those reservations have been adequately expressed elsewhere and we link you below to Dick Stroud’s excellent blog 50-Plus Marketing on the subject.
We have long been asking for some statesmanlike approach to the subject of growing older but have seen very little so far. Indeed only this week we have seen major press coverage devoted to the exceedingly trivial issue of who should or should not receive free bus passes and TV licences. This does no credit to the media nor to the politicians involved but does highlight the very poor level of debate currently taking place.
Although the participating bodies in this new alliance are all much esteemed they do, in my opinion, have a fatal weakness – they are mainly concerned with today’s existing old, not tomorrow’s. As such they do not feature all that highly in most people’s consciousness.
The real way to get people involved in ageing issues is to make today’s young realise that this is coming for them, like it or not, and any change now will be for their benefit. And if they want improvement they must take personal and collective responsibility for their futures. Therefore, I would argue for a somewhat different mix of pressure groups to extend the sphere of influence.