Do a significant proportion of older people face poverty and social exclusion? Discuss.
Poverty is defined as “a state in which a person or community is deprived of, or lacks the essentials for a minimum standard of well-being and life (Oxford, 2010).”
Social exclusion is described as ‘the process through which individuals or groups are wholly or partially excluded from full participation in the society in which they live’ (European Foundation 1995).
This assessment will be concerned with the ratio of poverty and social exclusion affecting the U.K’s elderly. The thesis will involve analysis of theoretical approaches, aid organizations and government policies and studies, in relation to the subject. The assessment will also adopt an evaluative perspective addressing underlying problems, considering both sides of the argument before summarising the magnitude of the issue.
Over the past five years the aim of tackling poverty and social exclusion has driven some of the major policy initiatives of the UK (DSS 1999).
However, up until recently there has been a lack of acknowledgement of poverty and social exclusion directly effecting the older generations.
According to Howarth et al this is due to the perceived lack of sufficient data on this topic, although recent social exclusion (PSE) surveys and reports offer a great scope of the issue. At present there are around 11 million pensioners in the UK: 4 million men and 7 million women. Pensioners make up around 18% of the population and this is an ever increasing statistic as the life expectancy age has risen (ONS, 1999). Not only are the older generations living longer healthier lives, on average the position of pensioners in current society has been improving, for example in the 1980-1990s when pensioners incomes grew by two thirds (DSS, 2002). These changes have enabled greater independence for some of the older generation and will continue to do so (C.Pantazis, 2006 p8-12.).
However it is...