“We’ll vote on policies, and policies alone”
Bob (82) and Yvonne (75) Jones, who live at Churchill Retirement Living’s Chadwick Lodge development in Southampton
For Bob and Yvonne Jones, there is no question in their minds that they will vote in this year’s General Election. “We both feel we should make full use of the right won for us by our forefathers,” explains 82 year old Bob.
However, how they will vote will not be a matter of loyalty to a specific political party. Instead, it will be decided on issues alone. “Who we vote for varies at each election,” says Bob. “In years gone by, different parties have won votes according to the burning issues at the time. We’ll vote on policies, and policies alone.”
Married for 55 years, Mr and Mrs Jones recently moved to the south coast to a two bedroom apartment at Churchill Retirement Living’s Chadwick Lodge development in Southampton. This has brought them closer to their family of three adult children and six grandchildren.
When asked about the standing and provision for older people within society, Bob commented: “Everyone’s circumstances are different. No doubt many over 60s are living close to the breadline and it is questionable whether their voices are being genuinely listened to. The older generation forms a good percentage of the electoral list, and how they will vote could certainly influence the outcome of the election.”
Yvonne agrees: “There is a tendency to ignore us as we get older as many feel that we have no further contribution to make to society. However, there is a wealth of experience to be found within this group!
“Would a Minister for the Elderly make a difference? In a perfect world, this would be desirable – but I think other groups within society could make similar claims.
When it comes to the main issues worrying the over 60s, both Bob and Yvonne agree health care and affordable care options are probably top of the list.
Bob explains: “We have an enviable National Health Service provision, which unfortunately seems to be in crisis at the moment. We are led to believe that old people are cluttering up A&E departments and that the shortage of beds at our hospitals is caused by them.
“Indeed, there is an element of truth in this but we have a growing ageing population now suffering because of neglect in years gone by. To prevent this from escalating, we need to invest in other support services – such as affordable nursing homes, better access to home care etc.”
Yvonne adds: “We feel incredibly fortunate to have moved to a retirement development at a time when we could face up to the upheaval of moving. This will take care of many issues that were beginning to cause us concern. Now security, and having help at hand, are no longer in our thoughts.”