Age Scotland aims to ensure older people’s voices are heard in the general election.
A charity is helping ensure older people in Scotland can vote in the upcoming general election.
Age Scotland is urging the country’s elderly to apply for postal votes to so their voices don’t go unheard in the first December election for almost a century.
The charity is concerned that tens of thousands of older people, as well as those with disabilities, could be disadvantaged if weather is cold or icy, or they face long journeys to their polling station.
Age Scotland has also launched its election manifesto, calling on political leaders to commit to tackling social inclusion, loneliness, and pensioner poverty.
The charity is concerned that Brexit could have a serious impact on health and social care for older people in Scotland, while stating more investment is urgently needed to help the almost one in five Scottish older people living in poverty.
Age Scotland will be distributing postal vote forms around the country to older people’s groups and have specially trained advisors ready to help with the process by phone. They are also encouraging people to help family members and neighbours apply for postal votes or ask if they need a lift on election day.
Brian Sloan, Age Scotland’s chief executive, said: “Many older people, especially in remote areas, may find it difficult to get to their polling station, especially if it’s cold and icy. Short days and winter weather can make roads and pavements especially treacherous at this time of year, while not everyone has access to reliable public transport.
“This year’s election will have a huge impact on major issues affecting older people from the future of the NHS to free TV licences. As Scotland’s population ages at a faster rate than the rest of the UK, it is vital that political leaders invest in tackling pensioner poverty, ageism, and loneliness, and helping everyone live well in later life.
“We’d encourage everyone to make sure they don’t lose their vote by applying for a postal vote before the deadline. Our community teams will be distributing application forms in their areas, while our friendly Helpline advisers are ready to talk anyone through the process.
“We’d also urge everyone to make sure older relatives, friends, and neighbours can use their vote. We often hear about the inter-generational divide, with older people being blamed for everything from Brexit to rising house prices. But now is the time to put differences aside and make sure that everyone has a voice on December 12, no matter their age.”
Older people can call the charity’s Helpline on 0800 12 44 222 to get a copy of the postal vote application form, which is also available on the Age Scotland website.