Social care providers encouraged to support clients to vote10 May 2017
Over 400,000 elderly and disabled people live in residential care in England and nearly 372,000 people received community-based care and support at home in 2013/14 yet it is likely they are one of the most significantly unregistered sections of our society.
In response to these fears, social care charity Jewish Care, have produced a guide for their staff which they are sharing across the sector. The guide provides practical information to enable front line care staff to support clients with voter registration and voting. It also addresses important questions about people living with dementia and their right to vote, how decisions should be made about an individual’s capacity to vote and if having power of attorney extends to voting.
Simon Morris, Chief Executive, Jewish Care commented;
“Whilst providing quality care is of upmost importance to us, we also believe that we have a role to play to ensure our clients, residents in our care homes, people we support in their own homes, feel a valued part of our community and wider society. Their voice and right to engage shouldn’t be lost just because they require support”.
“There are some fantastic campaigns that focus on engaging younger or socially excluded people in the electoral process. An impressive collection of research, reports and statistics about engagement initiatives and next to nothing about a significant group of people – older people living in residential care homes or those in receipt of home care support”.
Jewish Care have concerns that numbers of care home residents who are registered to vote has dropped dramatically since the introduction of Individual Electoral Registration in 2014. Prior to this a registered care home manager could complete one voter registration form for all residents in the home.
In the 2015 general election 78% of over 65-year old’s had their say compared to only 43% of 18-24 year old’s. What these figures, or any other published figures, omit to tell is that once those older people need support to register to vote their voice is forgotten.
View the Election Guide
We have also created a short film as a visual guide to help our staff support social clients to vote in the upcoming election on July 9th.