Montreux Living staff help make residents’ votes count

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Montreux Living-care industry newsStaff at Montreux Living’s six care homes helped ensure residents were able to vote on election day.

At Linden House care home, on College Road, Epsom, residents Donald Roth and Peggy Cohen made voting part of a special day out, while other residents already had their democratic say with a postal vote.

Linden House manager Marianne Barham said: “A national election only comes round every four or five years, so we wanted to do everything we could to encourage our residents to get involved, and to spend some time with their families if that was feasible.

“Residents in care homes will have participated in dozens of elections, so the day also represents an opportunity to reminisce about previous elections.

“At Linden we helped organise a taxi so that Donald and Peggy could make their vote at the local polling station. And we took advantage of it being a sunny day, by vising the park and going out for a coffee.

“Another resident was taken to vote by her daughter during the day.”

However, like 34% of population as a whole, some Montreux Living residents preferred not to vote.

Changes to voter registration laws mean that for the first time, each individual is responsible for registering to vote, instead of a single householder.

Although older people are more likely to vote than younger ones in general, only 20% of care home residents voted in 2010.

Montreux Living’s Operations Manager Ami Collman said: “It’s really important that everyone in our homes who wants to vote is able to easily – and we were delighted to help our residents exercise their democratic right.

“Strong opinions about politics – and politicians – don’t disappear when you move into care, and neither does the desire to express them in an election.

“We help residents – and their families – organise registration and setting up postal votes before the day, and understand how we can support their needs so they’re able to make their views count.”

Ahead of the election, Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, which represents independent care home providers had said: “Older people should be encouraged to use their right to vote because in doing so, they can send a clear message to politicians and the wider community that they have rights and deserve to be respected.”

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