The close of the European Year 2012 in the UK, celebrated in Cardiff on 29 November, demonstrated that much has been achieved in Wales, but that the Welsh Government will not rest on its laurels; they know that they still have a long way to go to fully address the implications of Europe's ageing society. That is why they have made a commitment to a third phase of their Strategy for Older People.
The Welsh Government recognises the value of the opportunity to build links with Europe and welcome the Commissioner for Older Peoples’ commitment to developing a 5 year “Ageing Well” programme that will support their implementation of Phase 3 of the Strategy for Older People. This programme that will commence in 2013, represents a collaborative legacy commitment to the European Year 2012 for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. The Programme will actively engage with the European Innovation Partnership on Ageing.
Since the Welsh Government launched their Strategy for Older People in 2003, they have driven forward real improvements to the lives of older people in Wales. When the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales launched the consultation on the third phase of the Strategy in October 2012, the Commissioner stated the Welsh Government’s intention to consider and explore whether a Declaration of Older People’s Rights would help in their ambition to protect and enhance the rights of older people in Wales, and asked officials to consider, with partners, how this could be explored further.
Whilst in itself a Welsh Declaration on the Rights of Older People would have no binding legal effect, it would send very clear signals to statutory bodies and service providers, as well as to older people themselves, about the Older People’s Commissioner's expectations and would strengthen their ability to ensure that older people receive the support and services they need to lead independent and full lives. The Welsh Government is pleased that the Commissioner for Older People will lead with them work to give further consideration to the potential parameters and impacts of a Welsh Declaration.
Wales already has a higher proportion of people of state pension age than other parts of the UK, and over the life of the third phase of the Strategy, the number of people aged 85 and over is projected to double. However, the Welsh Government is confident that they have the ambition and structures in place to help Wales respond to the opportunities and challenges that these population changes present. They feel privileged to be in a position where they can build on their achievements and their experience, to proactively take forward a further 10 years of positive action on ageing so that Wales is recognised as a good place to grow older.
Older People’s Commissioner for Wales |
The role of the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales is to be an independent champion for older people across Wales. To make sure that those who are vulnerable and at risk are kept safe and to make sure that all older people have a voice that is heard.
|Contact:||Sue Hayward: Sue.Hayward@olderpeoplewales.com|