Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Older People’s Commissioner for Wales Wales
The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales protects and promotes the rights of older people throughout Wales, scrutinising and influencing a wide range of policy and practice to improve their lives. She provides help and support directly to older people through her casework team and works to empower older people and ensure that their voices are heard and acted upon. The Commissioner’s role is underpinned by a set of unique legal powers to support her in reviewing the work of public bodies and holding them to account when necessary.
Encouraging and supporting the development of age friendly communities has been a key focus of the Commissioner’s work to enable everyone to age well, one of her strategic priorities alongside ending ageism, stopping the abuse of older people and protecting and promoting older people’s rights.
Since 2019, the Commissioner’s office has been working with and supporting local authorities throughout Wales to develop as age friendly communities and to apply for membership of the Global Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities. Of the 22 local authorities across Wales, a number are now taking forward their plans, and the publication of Age Friendly Wales: Our Strategy for an Ageing Society by the Welsh Government in October 2021 has added further momentum at a national level.
In order to facilitate long-lasting change at both a policy and practice level, there is a strong focus on a partnership approach to support members in their work towards becoming Global Network members – inclusive of partners from across sectors and the community – in recognition of the fact that local authorities are unable to influence policy and practice across all of the 8 domains of an age friendly community on their own.
Whilst Global Network membership is now a national journey, the identity and plans of each Welsh Network member will be distinct, reflecting the delivery of a wide range of local activities and initiatives, many of which have been ongoing since as early as 2003, when Wales published its first Strategy for Older People.
Alongside the collaboration and partnership working already underway at a national level through the Commissioner’s Community of Practice and Age Friendly Steering Group, membership of the Global Network and the learning and opportunities this provides will offer further support to members, helping to drive the development of age friendly communities at a local, regional and national level.