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Charity calls for more government support in later life

2nd July 2013

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

A charity that provides relationship support in the UK has made a number of recommendations that they say need to be put into place to ensure that people feel supported in retirement by the government and by friends and family.

Relate provides relationship support to couples, individuals and families, and a recent report published by the charity is calling for a number of ideas to be implemented that can help lead to later years being one of the most fulfilling stages of our lives.

One of their most important recommendations is for a new government position to be created that will specifically be concerned with the welfare of those of us who are older. The need for a minister for ageing is becoming increasingly more apparent as life expectancies continue to increase in the UK and a greater percentage of society finds that they need a voice that represents them in the Houses of Parliament.

The report also recommends that more and better support is provided for older people who care for partners at home, limiting the potential for relationship breakdown and ensuring that good-quality relationships can be continued. In a recent poll of 1,000 people aged over 50, 80% of them said that they believed good relationships were the most important factor in having a happy retirement as they felt comforted and happy when supported by loved ones. 

Isolation has a negative impact on the health and wellbeing of individuals, but maintaining independence at home and outdoors through the purchase of a new stairlift or mobility scooter can help ease this pressure, allowing those with mobility difficulties to go out and be active towards keeping up relationships with the most important people in their lives, a factor also recognised in the report.

Shifting dynamics and changes in health at home can all affect relationships between family members, and it is important that people feel supported enough, through both a support network and with the correct technological innovations, for these changes at home to be manageable. Caring for someone can put a huge strain on a previously lasting and loving relationship, and a lack of support from other family members, friends and society as a whole can lead to the deterioration of relationships. The report highlights that it is important that we all have this support network as we get older and face dramatic life changes.

Being surrounded by people who care about you during later life can make life fulfilling both practically and emotionally as there are always people on hand to help with the groceries, relax in recliner chairs with and celebrate events with. The report shows that keeping up good relationships in can make later life "a positive experience for older people and also for society as a whole", and support from the government can be an influential factor in making this happen.

 

Image Credit: Ivan Mlinaric (flickr.com)