WRVS, a volunteers and charity organisation, have recently completed a survey comparing British pensioners with their counterparts in Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands and found that Britain’s care of the elderly is failing.
Overall Britain came third out of the four countries, but our elderly were the most likely to feel isolated, had the lowest net income and felt victims of age discrimination.
David McCullough, chief executive of the WRVS, has said "This research highlights the sad truth about growing old in Britain today and should act as a wake-up call.
The treatment of older people in this country needs to be addressed and we must learn from our EU partners.” (Sky News, May 12)
Other European countries have taken advantage of volunteers to provide older people with more social contact and better links to their communities. It is felt that this will have a beneficial impact on their health.
There are already a number of schemes set up around the country to provide support to the elderly. At the Bullingdon Community Centre in Oxford, pensioners are able to attend a day centre run by Age UK once a week, where they can socialise and have a meal together. The project makes a real difference for many of their regulars. Centre manager Ella Thomas said "It is a lifeline for older people, a day centre or community club where they feel they receive a respite from being on their own." (Sky News, May 12) However, it is felt that much more needs to be done to improve the lives of the elderly in the UK.
This new evidence, bought to light by the survey, will contribute to a national debate in the UK about the WRVS’ aspirations for the UK’s older citizens and how they best might be achieved in today’s society.
All independent health and social care providers must be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Not sure where to start? Check out www.wordsworthreading.co.uk/care-quality-commission.php