Studies have shown that more older people are likely to cast their vote compared to young people. But, according to care professionals, older people living in support community or residential care homes do not vote in large number. The voting figure has actually dropped to below 20%, hence the need to have election campaigning in care homes. Most of older people’s charities and care providers have been running election campaigns to register more care users for the coming elections. It’s important to know that older people to do not lose interest in politics just because they have gone to live in care homes.
Many issues such as housing, immigration and care, are very important today and they can make the older group to have interest in elections. Many care homes are ensuring that their care home recipients are fully aware about these issues and they can add their voice in the elections. Some of these homes are holding reminiscence sessions as well as talking to their staff on the important roles of establishing the older people’s mental capacity to participate in the vote.
According to the Age UK, the population of elderly and disabled citizens is about 426,000 in residential care and approximately 405,000 people are above 65 years. With this numbers election campaigning in care homes is very critical in order to support all those who want to have a say in this democratic process. Furthermore, the participation of the older group in elections will help to inspire the future generation. It should be remembered that the older group fought for the democracy everyone is enjoying and therefore they should not face barriers when they want to participate in election process to make sure their voice is heard.
When older people vote, they will send a very clear message to leaders and the larger community that they also have rights and they deserve to be respected. We should not allow the ageist system to take away the rights of the aged just because they’re frail or sick. Many people are of similar view that older group deserve a voice. Life goes on even after you go live in a care home and certain things should not be taken away from you. It’s encouraging to see many residential homes helping the aged to register for postal votes, training them and arranging for their transport on polling day. Also with the arrangement of electoral commission and the caregivers, the commission has allowed employees and residents to register directly through the trust’s website.