Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, said:
“I welcome the Welsh Government’s draft ‘Strategy for an Ageing Society’, which has been published today and is now out for consultation.
“An ageing society presents us with many opportunities, and it is essential that we have the right policy and practice in place so that we can all age well and continue to engage with, participate in and contribute to our communities.
“Before the pandemic, many older people already faced significant challenges and difficulties that impacted upon their quality of life, many of which have been exacerbated this year. The pandemic has also created many new issues for older people throughout Wales, which means that delivering meaningful change and improvements in both the immediate and longer-term is crucial.
“The strategy provides an important step towards planning and delivering this change, and making progress in key areas where I have raised concerns with the Welsh Government.
“I welcome the focus on older people’s rights and ensuring a rights based approach, including using the UN Principles for Older Persons to guide action and decisions, and other key aims including creating an age-friendly Wales and prioritising prevention, which will be essential to ensure that older people can live healthy, independent lives.
“I also welcome the commitment to publish an action plan to tackle abuse, something that affects thousands of older people in Wales, and the recognition within the strategy of the importance of tackling ageism and age discrimination and promoting solidarity between generations, which will be vital as we move forward together.
“As Commissioner, I will be closely monitoring and scrutinising the action that is taken to make the ambition and commitments within the strategy a reality for older people, working constructively with the Welsh Government to influence policy and practice.
“I would also say to older people that this is your strategy, you are the experts by experience and you know the change and improvements that are needed. So I would urge you to have a look at the strategy, share your views and ideas with the Welsh Government and make your voices heard.”
Read Age Friendly Wales: Our Strategy for an Ageing Society and respond to the consultation here: https://gov.wales/strategy-ageing-society-age-friendly-wales