Campaign spotlight: Grey pride

Kylie Murray, student and ambassador for Help the Aged and Age Concern's Big Q Campaign

What's the problem?
Older people are not receiving the understanding, compassion, fairness or proper standards of care that are so important. It's time to change this.

How does it affect you?
We're all going to get old one day, but this issue affected my family when my grandfather received abominable care in NHS hospitals and a local authority care home. He died from Clostridium difficile (C. diff) after sloppy nurses didn't wash their hands or even feed him properly: my mum had to do that instead. In the care home, he was abused verbally, physically neglected, and his last weeks were spent suffering needlessly. If this can go on with daily family visitors, I wonder what happens to those with no one to be their advocate. This kind of treatment should be exposed and treated with zero tolerance.

What are you doing about it?
I have become an ambassador for Age Concern and Help the Aged's Big Q campaign because knowledge is power. I hope that by sharing my grandfather's and my family's experience, no one else will have to suffer the distress we did. The Big Q campaign provides a united voice and pushes at the highest levels for sorely needed improvements in care for older people. Old age is something to be enjoyed, not dreaded; about kind treatment, not mistreatment.

How can we get involved?
To share your thoughts on the future of care or to find out more about the Big Q campaign, email, visit Age Concern, or write to us at Campaigns Team, Age Concern and Help the Aged, Astral House, 1268 London Road, London SW16 4ER

This article first appeared in the 02 November 2009 issue of the New Statesman, Mob rule