22 May 2017
Enabling the elderly to vote
Every individual has a right to vote this General Election and it’s important as a care home provider that we encourage this right.
Statistics from the 2015 General Election show an impressive, “78% of voters were aged 65 or above and that they were the highest turnout group”, but this figure dramatically reduces when it comes to older people living in residential care – a group described as one of the most-significant sections of our community.
Here at Hallmark Care Homes, as part of our relationship-centred care approach, we inform and support any individual who can and wants to have their say in the democratic process and who may or may not lack access to registration facilities and polling places.
This short guide is tailored to helping your loved ones to vote. It will explain ways that care home team members and relatives can stimulate interest in political matters and engage with individuals who wish to vote.
How Hallmark team members can help
Each of our homes work very hard to ensure our residents feel valued and that they don’t feel isolated in the local community.
Here is a list of some of things we are doing in the lead up to the Election to help combat this feeling.
Care home polling stations
We will have a polling station at our homes Ty Enfys in Cardiff and Bryn Celyn in Maesteg. This will be a great opportunity for our residents to interact with members of the local community and vote in the traditional way that many of them are used to.
The reception of the homes will admit the polling staff at 6:30am on 8th June and will be vacated by 10.15pm on the polling day. For details of the homes addresses and if you wish to attend please click here for further information.
Political discussion groups
Many of our homes incorporate political discussion groups into their weekly news and views sessions in the lead up to the General Election. This enables our residents to air their opinions and take part in a healthy debate with like-minded people.
We always encourage local MPs to visit the homes and meet our residents. This gives them an opportunity to chat with their local party leader about their policies, but also feel like a valued member of the local community.
We will have several visits at our homes in the lead up to the General Election.
Further visits are scheduled to take place on Care Home Open Day on the 16th June, once the dignitaries have been appointed.
Help your loved ones to register
Many individuals who cannot attend a polling station on Election Day will have already requested a postal vote or to vote by proxy but they may need reminding of this as the day draws closer.
The cut-off date for voter registration for the General Election is 22nd May and if your relative is not registered to vote please fill out a form on behalf of your loved one at – www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
Once you have registered
Once your loved one is registered they can vote:
- In person at a polling station on 8th June 2017
- By post
It is important that you ask your loved one how they would prefer to vote. Some people like visiting the polling station for the sense of occasion, while others may prefer a postal vote or even the chance to vote online for the first time.
Supporting your loved ones throughout this process can be time-consuming. It is important to work together with your relatives care home if they have one, and engage family members who would like to help their relatives join in with the democratic process.
It is also important that care home team members and relatives speak to the electoral office in advance about accessibility in the local polling station and plan transportation well ahead.
How to find out more
For further information about voting please visit www.gov.uk/browse/citizenship/voting and www.electoralcommission.org.uk. You can also contact your local authority if you have any specific questions.
Click here to find your nearest Hallmark care home.