The Scottish Older Persons Assembly held it’s first evening reception from 6-8 pm on 9th September in the Garden Room of the Scottish Parliament with MSP Christine Graham sponsoring the event. People representing many of Scotland’s organisations came together to socialise, network and discuss their common and particular concerns about later life.
We are all well aware that Scotland’s population is ageing. As people are living longer the percentage of older people is increasing. This comes with a set of unique challenges and pressures not least in health and social care which will be under increasing amounts of pressure to cope with the welfare needs of Scotland’s older people.
Many of Scotland’s older people are today, increasingly, looking for the help and support they need to live independent and stay in there own homes as they grow older. They are also looking for the support they need to live their lives with dignity and respect. It is for these reasons that the care sector and the workers who work within it deserve to be paid and treated fairly for the essential work that they do.
But members of the older peoples assembly also spoke about issues such as public transport, access to appropriate health services, services in the community and funeral costs which were all of high importance to them and which they want to see the Scottish government doing more on.
Speaking to after his conversations with older people from the assembly Alex Rowley MSP said; “I am proud that my home county of Fife was the first in Scotland and indeed the UK to introduce the free bus travel for pensioners. The free bus pass does more for the health and well-being of older people than any GP surgery can ever do and that is why Labour will always fight to keep the free bus pass for pensioners.
More information about the assembly and about its work can be found at: http://www.scotopa.org.uk/