The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales has strongly welcomed the announcement from the First Minister that Wales will have a Minister for Older People for the first time in 15 years, something that will raise the profile of older people’s issues significantly within the Welsh Government.
The First Minister made the announcement at the launch of the Commissioner’s Legacy report, held today at the Senedd, a celebration of her work to improve the lives of older people across Wales and drive change on their behalf during the past six years.
Alongside the First Minister’s announcement, the Minister for Children, Older People and Social Care, Huw Irranca-Davies AM, also announced that the Welsh Government would be taking action in a number of areas to protect and promote older people’s rights, in response to calls made by the Commissioner.
Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Sarah Rochira, said: “I am absolutely delighted that, for the first time in over a decade, older people will be formally recognised within a Ministerial portfolio, which will raise the profile of the issues that affect their lives significantly within Welsh Government.
“I also strongly welcome the Minister’s announcement that a range of action will now be taken by the Welsh Government in response to my calls to protect and promote older people’s rights in Wales.”
The Minister announced that action would be taken to enhance the use of the United Nations Principles for Older Persons across public services in Wales, alongside action looking at how to improve safeguarding, advocacy and the way in which services for older people are commissioned.
The Commissioner added: “I am hugely proud of what my team and I have achieved on behalf of older people during the past six years, as set out in the legacy report I have published today. There is, of course, much that still needs to be done, but today’s announcements are a significant step forward.
“Today’s announcements will also mean a huge amount to older people across Wales and demonstrates a real commitment from the Welsh Government to take action to improve older people’s lives and make Wales a good place to grow older – not just for some, but for everyone.”
Minister for Children, Older People and Social Services, Huw Irranca-Davies AM sets out the action the Welsh Government will take to make rights real for older people