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Is it becoming impossible for some older people to manage their affairs independently?

(109 Posts)
helgawills Tue 13-Apr-21 08:40:57

My neighbour is 94 and housebound. We get her shopping and post letters.
As she is keen to vote in coming elections, she phoned for a postal vote form. Yesterday she received a form to complete and sign. No return envelope, nor even a return address. Just a web address to find relevant postal address.
OK, I have a computer and can check for her, but she is always offering me money for doing things. I don't like that.
Is it unreasonable to expect people to manage their affairs in a way that suits them?

Polarbear2 Tue 13-Apr-21 08:49:09

Agree. And not just older people. Those who can’t afford computers or are maybe disabled in some way. It can cut them out of the ability to do many things.

MerylStreep Tue 13-Apr-21 08:51:32

I’ve read the last sentence over and over and still don’t understand the problem.
Maybe it’s too early? 🤪

Calendargirl Tue 13-Apr-21 08:58:20

MerylStreep

I’ve read the last sentence over and over and still don’t understand the problem.
Maybe it’s too early? 🤪

I think the OP means that without her help, the neighbour would have difficulty finding the return address, whereas if there were a return envelope or a note of the return address, she could manage it on her own.

Katie59 Tue 13-Apr-21 09:03:18

It is bound to be difficult for those cared for at home when the mental capacity and eyesight gets less someone else has to take responsibility. With more of us at home for longer it’s bound to be more of a problem if a relative or friend cannot help out.

suziewoozie Tue 13-Apr-21 09:14:52

helgawills

My neighbour is 94 and housebound. We get her shopping and post letters.
As she is keen to vote in coming elections, she phoned for a postal vote form. Yesterday she received a form to complete and sign. No return envelope, nor even a return address. Just a web address to find relevant postal address.
OK, I have a computer and can check for her, but she is always offering me money for doing things. I don't like that.
Is it unreasonable to expect people to manage their affairs in a way that suits them?

This must have been an ( unacceptable) mistake. A return envelope should have been included.

M0nica Tue 13-Apr-21 09:19:53

There is always a problem when one 'technology' is going out of use and has been superceded by another.

It is not so long since there was an enormous fuss when the government insisted on making pension and benefit payments into bank accounts because a small number of older people still lived in a cash-only economy.

Having said that, I do think in a case like this, where someone has phoned for paper form, it is reasonable to assume that they do not have, or cannot use a computer so the return address should be on the form.

I would immediately be on to my local council, or local newspaper/radio to point out the absurdity of not having a return address on the form.

MerylStreep Tue 13-Apr-21 09:40:58

Calendargirl
Thank you. My first thought was: that’s my world. Not only me but 2 other neighbours who, between us support several of our ‘older’ neighbours. It’s just what you do.
I think the envelope thing was an oversight on the councils part.

helgawills Tue 13-Apr-21 09:51:02

I have just checked out the website, where you can ask for the return address of the application form, it asks for postcode, when I enter postcode, all it tells me is the location of the polling station, going round in circles.
Btw, my neighbour has no mental incapacity, her memory is no worse than mine, she just does not have a computer, does not want one. Nor does he see the need for a mobile phone.
I'll ring council now. Just makes me mad.

JaneJudge Tue 13-Apr-21 09:54:03

I don't like everything being online either and I'm not in my 90s.

I don't understand re voting. I usually have a postal vote but only my husband and sons poll cards have come through. Does this mean I'm not registered anymore?

JaneJudge Tue 13-Apr-21 10:01:34

Oh I've decided to register again just in case

HolySox Tue 13-Apr-21 10:19:00

Our local Liberal party have done a mailshot sending the postal vote application form and thay included a SAE. They no doubt did this because COVID fears may dissuade voters from attending polling stations in the forthcoming local elections - we live in a University town where most students vote Labour. Where there's a will there's a way.

kircubbin2000 Tue 13-Apr-21 10:29:26

JaneJudge

Oh I've decided to register again just in case

If you have a postal vote you won't need a poll card. It is there to tell you where your polling station is.

BeverleyJB Tue 13-Apr-21 10:30:43

Agree and it's not just access to a computer and the internet that is assumed. So many things these days presume that everyone has a mobile phone and more, that the mobile phone is a smart phone. Many people are happy to have what Martin Lewis calls a “granny in the glove box” mobile - a simple, cheap PAYG model for emergencies.
Just before Covid, I was essentially forced to change my old PAYG mobile to a smart phone just so that I could pay for my parking when I went to work.
During the pandemic we have used “click and collect” for our groceries. It is not possible to use Morrison’s without a smartphone.
Very sad that so many organisations have seen fit to leave the digitally excluded behind.

simtib Tue 13-Apr-21 11:01:19

My Mum is 99 still living in her own bungalow. Had milk delivered but has now been told that she now has to order it online and pay online. There is no way she could start useing the internet at her age so now can nolonger get milk delivered.

petunia Tue 13-Apr-21 11:12:21

Life certainly gets more complicated. My concerns go a little further. While now we can go online, search and pay for a better deal with utilities, car insurance etc. in twenty years time we may not be so confident to switch providers every year. Then we find ourselves with a hefty increase in various bills. A friend of mine recently took over her fathers financial affairs only to discover his car insurance had been automagically renewed each year and he was now paying over two thousand pounds.

Marydoll Tue 13-Apr-21 11:17:04

I'm in Scotland and applied for a postal vote. The form came with a return envelope. I then received a card, telling me I was now registered to vote indefinitely by post. So I can see what you mean OP.
However, DH's postal vote was put in the same envelope as mine, but he was told he hadn't applied for a postal vote! What a performance to rectify it, despite us being pretty savvy!

Dee1012 Tue 13-Apr-21 11:21:15

I'm in total agreement.
Even my window cleaner has asked for all payments to be done online now, no problem for me but could well be for many people.
There is no consideration for those in internet poverty or who don't want to have / use a computer or smartphone.

Witzend Tue 13-Apr-21 11:29:39

simtib, assuming it’s the same service as mine, it’d be very easy for you to register her details using your own email address, and give her credit or debit card details, assuming she has one. The payments come out automatically each month.
Any emails would then come to you.

If she needed to cancel or order extra, you could do that for her the day before, assuming you’d be willing to.

simtib Tue 13-Apr-21 12:05:33

Witzend: It probably is but having me do it for her takes away her independence and she does not have much of that left. I also live 100 miles away. A neighbour has offered to get her milk for her.

JaneJudge Tue 13-Apr-21 12:08:55

kircubbin2000

JaneJudge

Oh I've decided to register again just in case

If you have a postal vote you won't need a poll card. It is there to tell you where your polling station is.

Thanks, I have just wasted some council employees time then

Calendargirl Tue 13-Apr-21 12:12:52

Our swimming has to be booked online now, I know that’s not easy for some.

muse Tue 13-Apr-21 12:18:05

helgawills

I have just checked out the website, where you can ask for the return address of the application form, it asks for postcode, when I enter postcode, all it tells me is the location of the polling station, going round in circles.
Btw, my neighbour has no mental incapacity, her memory is no worse than mine, she just does not have a computer, does not want one. Nor does he see the need for a mobile phone.
I'll ring council now. Just makes me mad.

This is the site I found that gave me the address where to send ours
.
Hope the link works for you.

www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter/voting-person-post-or-proxy/voting-post

Galaxy Tue 13-Apr-21 12:19:24

Its supply and demand though in terms of companies, I wouldnt use a a business where I had to use cash for example so companies are going to respond to the demands of the public.

muse Tue 13-Apr-21 12:29:52

MOnica
I would immediately be on to my local council, or local newspaper/radio to point out the absurdity of not having a return address on the form.

I'm presuming the forms are sent out from one central place (Electoral Commission Office) making it impossible to give an individual return council address . There are 100s of councils.

This link I've posted does work to enable someone to find the address needed.