Civic leaders in Lowestoft pledge their full support to a national Dignity Code

Dignity Action Day being held by Lowestoft branch of Suffolk Pensioners' Association to call for mor

Dignity Action Day being held by Lowestoft branch of Suffolk Pensioners' Association to call for more laws to protect older people.Local MP Peter Aldous, Peter Collecott, Maria and Steven Ardley and Chris Brooks. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Civic leaders and NHS representatives have leant their support to a national code that demands that elderly people should be treated with dignity and respect.

The Waveney Singers perform at the Dignity Action Day in Lowestoft.

The Waveney Singers perform at the Dignity Action Day in Lowestoft. - Credit: Nick Butcher

Launched in 2012, the Dignity Code is to uphold the rights and maintain the personal dignity of older people and to ensure the safety and well being of those who are less able to care for themselves.

The Lowestoft Branch of the Suffolk Pensioners' Association and Anglia Region Pensioners' Association marked 'Dignity Action Day' by inviting people to sign the code.

Drawn up by the National Pensioners' Convention, the code ensures care staff are properly trained and paid accordingly and that care services are more rigorously monitored, inspected and regulated to ensure compliance with standards. It also calls for respect for individuals to make their own decisions, to participate in all aspects of care and to urge councils to make the code part of their contracts with care providers.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous and Lowestoft mayor Stephen Ardley attended the event at the Stella Maris Hall. The code has also been supported by HealthEast Chief Executive Andy Evans.

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'We hope this will raise the whole profile of the vulnerable elderly,' said Chris Brooks, who is chairman of the Lowestoft branch, Suffolk association and the Anglian region association.

'The code gives people the dignity they deserve at their age, especially frail elderly people who could be taken advantage of.

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'We have heard` horror stories in the press of them being neglected, not being treated respectfully and even abused. It still goes on unfortunately.

'This is a long term thing and ultimately, it is down to individual respect. It would be good to build up the local authority response as it is easy to pledge something but hard to build up the support.

'Children are protected by law but there is nothing there for older people.'

Stephen Ardley added: 'In this country we hear on a regular basis of the elderly being abused, neglected, abandoned and humiliated.

'The Dignity Action Day is promoting the need for legal protection for older people in care and The National Pensioners Convention is calling for authorities at all levels to make it part of their health and well being strategies'.

The event itself started with a pensioners' lunch before a presentation from Mr Brooks on dignity in care. The Waveney Singers performed some First World War songs before the event ended with tea and cake.

Waveney MP Peter Aldous said: 'The Dignity Code is very important and I think people need to look at what is required here because it can be easy to forget the very simple straightforward things.'

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