House of Lords launch for Mature Conversations report

Over the past year, members of EngAgeNet up and down the country have been running consultations on four key issues affecting the lives of older people:

■■ social care – what older people want and their attitude to funding;

■■ housing – what people need to remain in their own homes;

■■ employment and retirement – what is needed to ensure age friendly employment practices;

■■ technology – establishing how it can benefit older people and influencing its development.

The results were launched today (16 October 2019) at the House of Lords, and the findings represent a powerful and highly detailed picture of what older people in England really feel and think.

This publication identifies the need for a mature conversation about those aspects of ageing that require a collective social response, recognising that older people are part of the solution as well as part of the problem. Older people are net contributors to society, they play an active role in their families and communities – they work; they are carers; they are volunteers; they are anchor points in families, providing stability and enabling family members to go out to work; they are citizens with an equal voice, and their views on how they would wish to be treated should they lose their independence or become incapacitated, need to be listened to.

This was a pilot project, but there are now hopes of scaling up the exercise and collaborating with service providers as well as policymakers to look at specific issues in various parts of the country.

It is clear that the process described in this report has produced a series of key messages reflecting older people’s concerns, experience and views about the topics under discussion. We believe that this report provides evidence of the effectiveness of this method of engaging older people and in enabling them to have a say on issues that directly affect them.

Based on the success of this pilot study, our aim is to create an infrastructure that will enable mature conversations routinely to take place across the country – reflecting current and topical issues and ensuring that the views of older people are both given prominence in the formulation of policies and taken account of in the decision making processes that have in the past habitually excluded them.

EngAgeNet is in a unique position of tapping into the knowledge, lived experiences and ideas of hundreds of thousands of older people: a resource that we want to harness to improve lives and design better services.

To receive a hard copy of the report, email: [email protected]. But you can download a digital version by clicking onto the link below.

If you are an organisation that would like to find out how EngAgeNet could help you improve your policies, services or products, we’d be delighted to talk.