man in gold wedding band
Photo by Eduardo Barrios on Unsplash

I have just published the consultation on my proposed bill to establish a Commissioner for Older People in Scotland

As a Co-operative Party MSP, concern for the community is a key principle and that includes all sections of the community including older people in Scotland.

The role of the Commissioner would be:

  • Raising awareness of the interests of older people in Scotland and of the need to safeguard those interests.
  • Promoting the provision of opportunities for, and the elimination of discrimination against, older people in Scotland.
  • Encouraging best practice in the treatment of older people in Scotland.
  • Keeping under review the adequacy and effectiveness of law affecting the interests of older people in Scotland.

Covid-19 had a profound impact on all our lives but for older people it was just devastating.

A day rarely went past at the height of the pandemic without a constituent raising with me their heart-breaking experiences of not having access to their loved ones in a care home.

Older people were badly let down by failures on testing, the removal of social care packages, the pressure of Do Not Attempt Resuscitation decisions, the loneliness and isolation and the appalling death rate among those in later life.

An Older People’s Commissioner could be the independent voice defending the rights, services and care of older people that was missing during the pandemic.

Beyond that, it will help challenge the negative stereotypes of ageing and celebrating the immense positive contribution of those in later life, such as older workers.

Our older people are an incredibly valuable asset for our country, but far too often they are unappreciated. I want to see that change.

Calls for an Older People Commissioner has the support of dozens of organisations across Scotland, as well as an overwhelming majority of older people.  Polling by Age Scotland amongst people aged over 50 showed 80% thought a commissioner for older people was a good idea.

The consultation on my Bill is open now and will close on September 12, I would urge you to make your views known.

To find out more and to take part in the consultation please visit here.