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A quarter of a million older people in Wales do not understand their rights

in News

The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales has found that a third of older people in Wales – over a quarter of a million people – do not understand their rights1, and has published a new guide to empower older people and ensure they have the information they need to access the rights they have under a range of legislation and to challenge public bodies and services providers if they feel their rights have been breached.

The guide sets out the rights that older people have in a range of key areas, such as employment, healthcare and housing, as well as making clear the rights older people have to be treated with dignity and respect, to be involved in decisions that affect their lives and to be safeguarded and protected. The booklet also includes details of organisations that can provide older people with help, support and advice relating to their rights.

Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, said:

“These figures indicate that a significant number of older people throughout Wales – over a quarter of a million people – do not understand their rights. 

“Whilst Wales has led the way in many regards in ensuring that a rights-based approach underpins the delivery of public services, through legislation and regulations, if an individual does not understand the rights they have, they will find it difficult to use their rights in their day-to-day lives and take action, if needed, to ensure their rights are upheld.

“That is why I have published a new guide for older people – to empower them so they have a better understanding of their rights and the legislation that underpins them, and to ensure they are in the strongest possible position to challenge unfair discrimination, poor services or poor practice.”

The guide has been published to coincide with the International Day of Older Persons, which is held each year on 1 October and celebrates the significant contribution older people make to society. The focus this year is on older people’s rights, in particular celebrating human rights champions across the world.

The guide will be distributed to older people throughout Wales via stakeholders working with and on behalf of older people. Copies of the leaflet are also available by contacting the Commissioner’s office.

1 – Figures obtained from Beaufort Research Ltd telephone poll undertaken on behalf of the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales. Total sample size was 502 adults aged 60+. Fieldwork was undertaken 14-23 September 2018.

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