Age Alliance Wales presented on June 13th in Cardiff the new report “Wales: a good place to grow old?” Written by the Bevan Foundation, the paper highlights the reality of life for Welsh seniors today and demands policy makers, local government and health services to work together to ensure that Wales is a good place to grow old.
Among other data, the report highlights that there are now more people over the age of 65 in Wales than children under 16. By 2035, more than a quarter of the Welsh population will be over 65.
The report doesn’t paint a positive picture and demands action, especially for prevention and early intervention. More than 100,000 older people live in poverty in Wales and making ends meet is difficult for one in five pensioners who live on a low income. As a result, two-thirds of older people are worried about paying their fuel bills in winter and many have difficulty affording nutritious food.
Sarah Rochira, Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, welcomed the paper and commented that “it highlights that, whilst we have much in Wales to be proud of, for all too many people growing old is simply not what it should be. The facts and figures included within the report tell a stark tale about the lives of too many older people.”
“The challenge ahead for all of us is to make sure that, over the years to come, less people live in poverty and choose whether to eat or to heat their homes, that less people feel excluded, isolated or afraid, that more older people feel they are valued and that we make the most of their knowledge, expertise and contribution that many already make to our country, communities and families," said Rochira.
The report is available here.