Older People Ignored by Parties

Veronica Gray DCEO HourglassPRESS RELEASE: Tuesday 2nd July

Party Manifestos “all but ignore” challenges facing older people in Election 2024


02/07/2024: Ahead of releasing its own manifesto scrutiny document, Hourglass would like to see stronger safer ageing commitments from parties ahead of the 2024 General Election. A leading charity has voiced its disappointment at the level of commitment to support older victim-survivors of abuse, neglect and exploitation in party manifestos.


Hourglass, the only UK-wide charity focused on older victims of abuse, has condemned the lack of innovation and understanding in the vast majority of UK party manifestos – with only the DUP mentioning the issue, and Sinn Fein and the Green Party (England and Wales) endorsing the OATH campaign (Older Age Tomorrow’s Hope).  


The charity, which deals with around 50k contacts relating to older victim-survivors, has produced its manifesto ahead of the election which calls for policies that would support safer ageing including a strategy to tackle abuse of older people, funding for specialist older people support and  measures that would raise public awareness of these issues. The OATH campaign specifically calls for a Safer Ageing Society by 2050.


Veronica Gray, Deputy CEO of Hourglass and Policy Director, explained: “Hourglass runs a 24/7 helpline and casework service and despite seeing a dramatic increase in case work since the pandemic, policy makers continue to ignore this policy imperative. It’s a scandal.


“We are disappointed that parties have all but ignored policies which support safer ageing at this election. Though there are some broader commitments to fund services and to improve funding to the criminal justice system which are welcome, older people specific policies are required.


“We welcome the much-needed profile for the Violence Against Women and Girls strategy (VAWG) and we are, of course, entirely supportive of these commitments. However, with over 2.5 million people affected by the abuse of older people, a suite of policies focusing on this area are long overdue. Especially as there appears to be no end to the growth in casework. We strongly urge the new government to speak to us when elected and look at investing in this still hidden form of abuse.”


The Northern Ireland Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has committed in their manifesto to “support tough measures to address all forms of elder abuse, including financial crime.” The charity acknowledges that this is an important commitment, but Hourglass feels the public need more detail on how they plan to achieve this. And hope the other major political parties will join both Sinn Féin and the Green Party in formally endorsing Hourglass’s Older Age Tomorrow’s Hope (OATH) campaign. Anyone can sign the OATH here: www.wearehourglass.org/take-oath


Hourglass has also completed analysis of all major UK political parties’ manifestos assessing their commitments to supporting older people and abuse services. While most parties included strategies to tackle domestic abuse, this was usually through a Violence Against Women and Girls strategy rather than a specific strategy directed towards older victims.


Hourglass will be releasing a full analysis of party manifestos, which looks at the key strengths and weaknesses of this from a safer ageing perspective.


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.  





Veronica Gray, Deputy CEO


Mobile no: 07496 663816


Notes to editors

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.