Commissioner outlines her three priorities for older people

Commissioner outlines three priorities for older people
Heléna Herklots, Older People’s Commissioner for Wales

The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales will focus to end ageism and discrimination, stop abuse of older people and enable everyone to age well, as part of her three-year strategy.

Setting out her plan for 2019-2022, commissioner Heléna Herklots will also continue to work with partners to influence policy and practice at both national and local level.

They will also monitor and scrutinise the work of public bodies; identify, celebrate and promote good practice; and provide help and support to older people through her casework service.

The strategy, Making Wales the best place in the world to grow older, has been developed following extensive engagement and consultation with older people and stakeholders throughout the country.

Wales has 877,000 people aged over 60, which represents just under 30% of its population. This is set to increase to over one million by 2030, and the number of people over the age of 85 is expected to more than double by 2040.

The strategy said there were ‘significant inequalities between individuals and communities’ throughout Wales, demonstrated by increasing levels of poverty among older people and gaps in healthy life expectancy between the least and most deprived areas, which vary by as much as 18 and 19 years for women and men respectively.

Herklots said: ‘As commissioner, I have a unique role to play in taking forward the priorities set out in my strategy, and I will deliver a wide range of work against each of them. But I will also be working to encourage others to take these issues on and work together to deliver the changes that are needed, which will only be achieved by a concerted and consistent effort across society.’

Alongside her strategy, the commissioner has also published her 2019-20 work programme, which provides further information about the action she will take and the work she will deliver in the year ahead.