Age Scotland has joined forces with the Scottish Older People’s Assembly to urge every local authority to appoint an Older People’s Champion to amplify older voices across the country.
The national charity for older people is calling on all of Scotland’s 32 local authorities to create the role to ensure that older people’s voices are heard, their interests catered for and their concerns addressed.
Nine local authorities have already appointed a councillor to the apolitical role, but the new campaign aims to build a network of champions to represent older people’s views and identify issues that affect older people locally.
An Older People’s Champion would also be involved in communicating council policies that impact older people, including transport, social care, public toilets and community services.
Brian Sloan, chief executive of Age Scotland, said: “Just as the Scottish Government has a dedicated Minister for Older People and Equalities, it is time that councils have a role focused solely on older people.
“The impact of COVID-19 on older people has only heightened the case for Older People’s Champions. The pandemic has had devastating effect on many older people who are struggling to cope with record levels of isolation and loneliness.
“As we emerge from the unprecedented challenges of the past year there needs to be a clear recovery plan implemented at local and national level, specifically focused on older people who have been severely impacted by the pandemic. Older People’s Champions would be integral to that, ensuring that older voices are heard and older people are not excluded from our local democracy.”