recently reported that two fifths of the NHS budget is currently going towards medical care for the over-65s
. This comes at a time when the state retirement age is set to incrementally increase for the foreseeable future. The cruel irony of this is that those who are expected to work longer are often pushed into unsuitable, low skilled and precarious work, which often exacerbates and causes those very health problems that are increasing. It seems clear that government’s insouciant drive to supress the unemployment figures is failing older people.
Increased life expectancy need not lead to those who are clearly unable to work 40 hour weeks being forced down this route. Instead, we need to be enabling people to take up optional voluntary work that empowers them to help leave a legacy, undertake fulfilling activities, and provide a benefit to society. Due to the government’s austerity programme, the voluntary sector is perhaps now more important than it has been for a long while. Clearly we must adopt a set of policies that help to alleviate this situation. The attached piece is one such suggestion of how this might be done, authored by the ever-bright-idea’d Kim Sanders-Fisher: