Report Launched In Next Phase Of Wales’ Strategy For Older People
Deputy Health Minister and Minister for Older People, John Griffiths AM, have launched a report setting out the next phase of the 10 year Strategy for older people in Wales. The strategy was originally launched in 2003 and has been backed by a total of £13m from the Assembly Government.
The report was produced by an advisory group including older people and representatives from older people’s organisations and chaired by the Deputy Minister.
The group looked at progress so far since the strategy was produced in 2003 and made recommendations for the second phase of the strategy from 2008 to 2013.
The report focused on five key areas:
- It recognised good progress made on engaging with older people and recommends making buildings and transport more accessible, a more joined up approach to tackling pensioner poverty, and, more work to improve uptake of benefits.
- It relayed the important economic contribution that older people can make.
- It recommended greater support and flexibility for the recruitment and retention of older people in employment and for volunteering.
- It found health, well-being and independence are key to improving the lives of older people. The group recommended the next phase of the strategy should give more emphasis to tackling isolation and loneliness and the impact of mental health problems. The development of a new vision on future housing options for older people and continuing improvement in care homes were also seen as priorities.
- It recognised the good progress made in support provided by public bodies for the Strategy and recommended the continuing appointment of older people’s champions in local authorities and more emphasis on the role of older people’s forums.
The recommendations of the group will form a key part of the work to shape the second 5 year phase of the strategy that will need to be taken forward after the May Elections
John Griffiths said: “The Strategy is about full and active citizenship, a vision of later life that moves beyond the traditional concerns of health and social services, pensions and care homes. It is about shedding the stereotypes that surround older people – ensuring they live the lives they want and deserve.
“Since its launch the Strategy has made considerable progress. It has delivered in line with the implementation programme and established firm foundations at both a national and local level. This report is a timely reflection on achievements to date, work remaining to be done and priorities for the future.
“The group which produced this report has shown enthusiasm and dedication. Their observations and recommendations provide the latest thinking to build on the first phase of our strategy and take it forward to the next stage.”