That this House takes note of the place and contribution of older people in society.While acknowledging that more than half of the over 60's were involved in some form of voluntay work, with a conservative estimate of the value of that done in 'caring' and 'family maintenance'of £50 billion, he nonetheless :
* pleaded " for a change in attitude that will appropriately recognise the dignity of older citizens, whatever their condition".
* reported that "shockingly, Ruth Marks, the 'Older People's Commissioner for Wales', estimates that one in four older people report one or another form of 'elder abuse' ranging from patronising and impatient behaviour to actual physical mistreatment."
* said that " one of the less recognised results of a dismissive attitude to the needs of older citizens receiving care is a view of carers for the elderly as a sort of proletariat among health and care professionals."
* argued that "we must recognise that it is assumptions about the basically passive character of the older population that foster attitudes of contempt and exasperation, and ultimately create a climate in which abuse occurs."
* said that it is "a fact that advancing age is likely to decrease physical independence in various ways. But rather than taking this as the core issue, we should see questions of dependency as basically about how our public policy and resourcing seek to preserve both dignity and capacity among those who may be increasingly physically challenged, but who remain citizens capable of contributing vital things to the social fabric. There is a lot to learn in this regard from the work done by disability rights and advocacy groups."
* said that "too often we want older citizens either to go on as part of the productive machine as long as possible or to accept a marginal and humiliating status, tolerated but not valued, while we look impatiently at our watches waiting for them to be 'off our hands'."
In his own words :