Actions the Welsh Government will take to champion older people and challenge the way we think about ageing have been published by Julie Morgan, the Deputy Minister for Social Services.
Written in partnership with older people and their representatives, the delivery plan sets out the steps Welsh Government will take to achieve the vision set out in Age Friendly Wales: Our Strategy for an Ageing Society.
£1.1 million is being made available to local authorities to support their work to become age friendly and ensure older people are involved in the design and planning of local services.
Actions in the delivery plan aim to raise awareness of older people’s rights, tackle age related poverty, improve public services and spaces and reduce loneliness by promoting volunteering as a way to encourage more people to connect with their communities. Specific actions include:
- Support for older people to become digitally confident;
- continuation of the ‘All Age Apprenticeship Programme;
- support for businesses to be more age-inclusive in retaining, retraining and recruiting older workers;
- funding improvements to bus infrastructure to ensure more stops and key interchanges are fully accessible to all;
- addressing fuel poverty and energy efficiency;
- increasing the take up of pension credit.
The Deputy Minister for Social Services, Julie Morgan said:
“We want to create a Wales where everyone looks forward to growing older and age is celebrated. Our Vision is for an age friendly Wales that supports people of all ages to live and age well. Too often getting older is linked to illness and decline and older people’s contributions to society are overlooked.
“From making sure housing supports people to age well, to creating opportunities to keep healthy and active, this plan outlines how we will work across government and with key partners, including the Older People’s Commissioner, to reject ageism and realise our vision of an age friendly Wales.”
Age Cymru’s chief executive, Victoria Lloyd says:
“Older people are facing unprecedented challenges right now. Many have been struggling to make ends meet for several years but the challenge has risen to frightening levels this year with rising fuel bills and household expenses.
“This comes on top of the challenges of anxiety, isolation, and emotional health that many older peoples have faced over the last two years through the pandemic and associated lockdowns.
“There is much to do in creating an age friendly Wales and the plan is rightly broad in scope. Action to tackle poverty and the crippling affects it has on older people’s lives and measures to increase awareness of human rights amongst all of us so that older people can live a life of dignity and one of their own choosing are priorities.
“We are keen to work with the Welsh Government to realise their age friendly ambition for Wales.”