Headlines: June 13th, 2007



Almost a third of older people believe their lives have got worse in the last 12 months, according to a report out today which also shows that nine out of ten elderly people think there has been no improvement. The report from Help The Aged says the equivalent of 2.66 million UK pensioners said their general quality of life had deteriorated.

“Spotlight on older people in the UK”, published today, is the second annual report from the charity and highlights the issues faced by vulnerable older people as poverty, neglect, ageism, isolation and future deprivation. As a result of monitoring progress on these issues, the charity is now challenging the Government to begin making changes to the law to give older people equality with the rest of society. The report claims almost three quarters of adults agree that age discrimination exists in the everyday lives of older people.

Figures from the report show that nearly half of pensioners are failing to claim Council Tax benefit and one in three pensioners on the lowest incomes are spending more than 10 per cent of their income on the tax. It says a fifth of older people live in poverty and says if all those in poverty lived in one area they would replace the population of Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.

Paul Cann, Director of Policy at Help the Aged, said, “Far from being people’s twilight years, this report shows the reality of growing older in the UK is much darker. It is absolutely outrageous that people’s lives are getting worse or not improving as they get older.”