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Commissioner’s Blog – Ageing Well in Wales Launch // Blog y Comisiynydd – Lansio Heneiddio’n Dda yng Nghymru

October 24, 2014

On Wednesday this week, I was delighted to be joined by the Minister for Health and Social Services, as well as colleagues and stakeholders from across Wales and Europe, to formally launch the Ageing Well in Wales Programme, which I am proud to Chair as Older People’s Commissioner for Wales.

The Programme, the first of its kind in the UK, is a collaborative partnership of national public and third sector organisations, working together to deliver the overall aim of Ageing Well in Wales: to ensure that there is an improvement in the wellbeing of people aged 50+ in Wales.

Delivering this aim is essential as the people I meet and speak with across Wales have told me that as they grow older they want their lives to continue to have value, meaning and purpose, lives through which they can continue to contribute to their families, our communities and the wider economy.

And with the number of older people in Wales is set to rise to over one million within the next twenty years, alongside ongoing reductions in public spending, it’s more important than ever that people are supported to stay healthy, active and independent, are supported to age well.

While there is, of course, much that individuals can do to maintain their own health and wellbeing, much more is required to make Wales a good place to grow older for everyone. Ageing Well in Wales will therefore ensure that there is a joined-up approach across Wales, with a focus on very clear outcomes, outcomes that reflect the biggest challenges people face to age well.

The Programme will also challenge the assumption that frailty and dependence are an inevitable part of ageing, an assumption that often creates barriers for older people and restricts the opportunities available to them.

Delivering the aims of the Programme will be achieved through a wide range of work, at both a national and a local level, across five key programme themes: Age-Friendly Communities, Falls Prevention, Dementia Supportive Communities, Learning and Employment, and Loneliness and Isolation.

Experts from key organisations across Wales will drive change at a national level through the Programme’s Strategic Action Group and Expert Advisory Groups, while local networks have also been established to provide essential support to members as they deliver a range of initiatives in our villages, towns and cities.

A huge amount of work has been undertaken over the past decade to promote healthy ageing and advance the rights of older people, with Wales now recognised across Europe as an exemplar of best practice. The Ageing Well in Wales Programme will complement and build upon this work to support further innovation and ensure that Wales continues to lead the way in work to improve people’s lives.

But more than that, Ageing Well in Wales represents a genuine commitment from everyone involved to make a real difference to the lives of older people in Wales, a genuine commitment to ensure that we can all age well.