In this report I set out short term actions that I believe need to be taken now and over the next three months, and longer-term actions which need to start as soon as is practicable but will take some time to be fully realised. I will continue to take action as the Older People’s Commissioner – in some cases supporting and contributing to work led by others; working together with other organisations to bring about change, and where necessary scrutinising and holding public bodies to account for the action or lack of action they are taking to protect older people’s rights.
Throughout all this I will continue to engage with and listen to groups and individuals across Wales, so that what I do is informed by the current experiences of older people and their ideas and insights about what needs to change.
A time of uncertainty and challenge lies ahead, and we need to ensure that lessons are learnt from the experiences of the last few months. Older people’s rights need to be better protected, and where they have been removed, reinstated. The exclusion that many older people have experienced and felt must not be allowed to continue. Those that have suffered loss of loved ones need to be supported as they grieve, and those who have been kept apart from loved ones re-united. As plans are made across Government and public bodies to transition from this phase of the pandemic, the pledge must be to ‘leave no-one behind’.
Heléna Herklots CBE
Older People’s Commissioner for Wales
Click here to download Leave no-one behind: Action for an age-friendly recovery