Society must change attitudes towards older people in care

By Dr Ros Altmann , Wednesday 29 February 2012

Attitudes to care in the UK shed a poor light on the type of society we have become – and things must change for the better.
Dr Ros AltmannDr Ros Altmann

Central to this is the need to end the notion of care as a “burden”, and to ensure that people receive continued respect and love in their later years, says Saga Director-General Dr Ros Altmann.

Saga welcomes the recommendations made by the Commission on Improving Dignity in Care for Older People regarding the importance of compassion in care staff. This must come, however, from a societal change towards older people in care, not just from the staff who work in it.

Ros Altmann explained: “Attitudes towards older and vulnerable people in care must go through a cultural change and Saga’s aim is to ensure all of society, not just the staff in care, has a more positive and compassionate attitude towards caring for older people.

“We need everyone, including policymakers and the media, to adjust to the new reality: stop thinking of care as a burden and reflect instead that it’s wonderful that people are living into their eighties, nineties and even hundreds, and having fulfilling lives. 

“In our ageing population, a cultural change is necessary; people deserve to be treated with the same respect and love that they have received throughout their lives.

“More and more people are receiving and needing care, and the cost and consideration this warrants, naturally puts enormous pressure on systems. But this does not mean recruitment for those working in care should be an afterthought, thorough training, a positive attitude and above all, compassion, is essential in staff who look after older people in need of care. 

“How well we look after one another when we are in need is a badge of what sort of society we are. We need the Government’s full support if we are to ensure our badge is one of success.”


  • Sunloungers

    How to nominate a carer

    The period for submitting nominations for 2014 is now open. Over the coming months nominations received during this period will be reviewed by the trustees, short listed, and those successfully short-listed will be contacted.

    Read on

  • Care home

    Questions for care homes

    When the time comes to consider a care home for a loved one with dementia, we can all ask questions to improve care homes. George Jones guides us through some key points.

    Read on

  • Dr Ros Altmann

    Hospital staff have duty of care to look after patients' needs

    Hospital staff have duty of care to look after patients' needs

    Read on

  • Ros Altmann

    Warm words and long-term plans will not deliver decent care

    Dr Ros Altmann believes that the latest report highlighting inadequate dementia care in our acute hospitals proves that our system of social care is in crisis.

    Read on

  • Elderly woman and nurse

    Crucial contacts

    You are not alone. The UK is fortunate in having a fantastic network of charities all ready and waiting to give you a helping hand. Discover some of what's available below.

    Read on

  • Homecare thumbnail

    Care at home

    Care for people who want to maintain their independence and stay in their own home


  • Care funding advice

    Care Funding Advice

    The Saga Care Funding Advice Service specialises in providing care funding advice.


  • Home response

    Home Emergency

    Peace of mind for the over 50s. Should you suffer a home emergency we've got it covered.


  • Home thumbnail

    Home insurance

    Cover of up to £50,000 for contents and up to £500,000 for buildings as standard.


  • Life Assurance thumbnail

    Life insurance

    Choose the amount of cover and length of time you would like to be insured for.


  • Equity release

    Equity release

    A way to release tax-free cash from your home, to spend on whatever you choose.


  • Nigel Foster

    Posted: Monday 15 October 2012

    This is so wrong and understandably heartbreaking for you . I would try and video this and expose them , I understand you may have to move for Mum 1st .

  • Mrs Patricia Ingleby

    Posted: Monday 01 October 2012

    My adored mother is 89 years young. She is & has been in a care home since July 14th 2012. I have seen for myself that no care or kindness is shown to her when she needs the toilet, in fact she is treated as a nuisance.She is incontinent & has lost the use of her legs, soit needs 2 cares to hoist her onto the comode. Fleetwood is only 8mins from our home, & so we are able to see her every day. My heart is broken,she is being roughly treated, she has said so herself. She is aware & alert.


Type your comment here

 characters remaining.

The care debacle

Royal Commissions, White Papers, the Dilnot report...are we any nearer solving the problem of who pays when we’re old and in need of care? Probably not, says Paul Lewis.

Care Funding Advice Service

Provided by Just Retirement Solutions Limited

  • A no-obligation service
  • Fully qualified advisers
  • Support and information
  • Download a free guide

Saga Respite for Carers Trust

Rewarding those who care for others

The aim of Saga Respite for Carers Trust is to give carers a break, by providing hundreds of free holidays a year for carers and their companions.

Would you recognise the first signs of dementia?

Dementia is not about forgetting an acquaintance’s name or where you left your reading glasses, but spotting early symptoms and getting a diagnosis are vital

Save £100s on...home improvements

Whether it is the complete renovation project from wreck to dream home, or decorating a bedroom, building work is always costly. But, if you do it yourself, how can you keep the costs down without compromising on the results?

Home response

Home emergency cover for the over 50s

  • Approved tradesmen available 24/7
  • No call-out charge
  • Guarantee on all work carried out.