Older People Can Because Older People Do

Kent residents come together to celebrate International Older People’s Day
An older lady sitting sitting on stage with other older people

People from across Kent are today marking the achievements of older people as part of International Older People’s Day.

Every District in Kent has an established Older Peoples’ Forum and together they have reached thousands of older people in the past year offering information, practical support, advice and friendship.
Each Forum is calling for more people to join them and make a difference to the lives of older people by making the voice of older people heard by decision makers.

“I don’t know about you, but I am fed up with reading that Britain’s senior generation is costing millions in health care and draining our society. Most older people are fit and healthy and don’t need care. Instead they are a great asset to Kent and the country as a whole.”
— Denise Watts, Talking on behalf of Kent's Older People Forums

Constantly faced with negative media stories about the drain on society caused by older people, the Forums are keen to stress the many benefits that older people bring such as:

  • People over 65 spend £100billion a year, which is 10% of the UK’s total spending
  • Taxes paid by the over 65s amount to £45billion a year – this is forecast to rise to £82 billion by 2030
  • Older people provide an average of 326 hours a year in free childcare for grandchildren – where would many of us be without that support?
  • Many older people are Carers, both for partners but also their own parents which is clearly a vital role for our stretched social services
  • Increasingly many older people are funding their grandchildren’s University fees and providing housing for their own adult offspring

It is estimated that people over 50 give society an average of 75 hours in charitable work and 73 hours in voluntary community work a year (all figures supplied by the South East England Forum on Aging).

Isn’t it about time we celebrated our older generations and listened to them when planning services to help them live healthy fulfilling lives? By 2039 the number of people over 85 years of age is projected to more than double making it even more important to hear the voice of older people when planning services.

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