Hourglass Manifesto Scrutiny

Richard Robinson CEO HourglassHourglass manifesto scrutiny underlines acute lack of planning for older people



03/07/2024: Hourglass (Safer Ageing) is today releases its assessment of party manifestos

The UK’s only charity focused on the abuse of older people, Hourglass, has underlined its disappointment at state of the key party manifestos when it comes to older people and creating a safer, more independent future for them.


In their scrutiny document, the Safer Ageing Election Index (released today – 3rd July) the charity highlights the lack of support for older victim-survivors of abuse, neglect and exploitation in Party manifestos. The only small grains of encouragement are the mentions of broader support for new strategies to end Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).


Hourglass, which recently shone a light on the likely 9 million increase in older people in the UK by 2050, has produced its manifesto which calls for policies that would support safer ageing and includes a strategy to tackle abuse of older people, funding for specialist older people support and  measures that would raise public awareness of these issues.


Hourglass runs a 24/7 helpline and casework service and is dealing with a dramatic increase in case work since the pandemic. However, the Safer Ageing Election Index points out that policy makers continue to largely ignore this area or see it as a niche issue within the VAWG landscape.


Uniquely, the Democratic Unionist Party have committed in their manifesto to “support tough measures to address all forms of elder abuse, including financial crime.” Their stance is an important commitment, but needs more detail on how to achieve this. In addition, both Sinn Féin and the Green Party have formally endorsed Hourglass’s Older Age Tomorrow’s Hope (OATH) campaign – alongside many singular representatives across the UK political spectrum.


The charity is still calling on all parties, politicians and the general public to sign their OATH pledge which can be found here:


You can view our webinar discussing our Safer Ageing Election Index here:


Richard Robinson, CEO of Hourglass, said:


“Hourglass is pleased that most political parties contesting the general election have strategies to tackle domestic abuse through a Violence Against Women and Girls strategy. But it is vital that there is a further strategy which specifically supports older victim-survivors.


“We have undertaken an analysis of all major UK political parties’ manifestos assessing their commitments to supporting older people and abuse services. Our Safer Ageing Election Index has also scored parties and ranked them against our own manifesto pledges. The results are disappointing but this gives us an indication of how much work is required to bring the issue up the agenda.


“Despite years of underfunding, whoever wins the General Election tomorrow cannot ignore abuse of older people. There are currently over 15.5 million people over 65 in the UK, and our research shows that over 2.7 million of them have been affected by abuse. Add to this the likely influx of 9 million older people by 2050 and you have a concerning landscape.  The broader focus in most party manifestos on tackling domestic abuse is welcomed. The next step must be to focus on older people who continue to be forgotten” 


Dr Seth Alexander Thévoz, FRHistS who reviewed the party manifestos on behalf of Hourglass added:  


"The review underlines how far the parties have to go in developing detailed policies to tackle elder abuse. But there were many encouraging signs, from across the political spectrum, of a willingness to address many of the wider issues around this - including social care, mental health, fraud, and violence against women and girls.


"Overall, we hope that this report provides a constructive resource for the public, on where policy proposals are most developed around building a safer ageing society, and where they still have some way to go”


A summary of our research findings can be viewed here


The full research document can be viewed here


The charity is urging those keen to support the charity to donate by visiting www.wearehourglass.org.uk/donate or Text SAFER to 70460 to donate £10.

Texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give £10 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text SAFERNOINFO to 70460.





Richard Robinson, CEO


Mobile no: 07807229447



About Hourglass
Hourglass is a UK-wide charity with a presence in all four nations. It aims to protect and prevent the abuse of vulnerable older people by raising awareness of the issues, encouraging education and giving information and support to those in need. It has the only national freephone helpline dedicated to this cause, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on 0808 808 8141 for confidential support and information.