“Older people’s voices must be heard” says new Older People’s Commissioner for Wales
As Sarah Rochira takes up her post as Older People's Commissioner for Wales, she has stated that older people's voices must not only be heard but that their wealth of knowledge and experience used to ensure that our communities and public services meet the needs of an ageing population.
A key priority for Ms Rochira will be engaging with older people in their communities throughout Wales. She will travel extensively during her first week in post, as part of an ongoing programme of engagement, to gather the views of older people and ensure that their voices are at the heart of her work.
Ms Rochira stated: "As Commissioner, I exist to make a meaningful difference to the lives of older people in Wales and I am passionate about delivering positive change on their behalf. I will ensure that they have a strong voice, and will be a vocal advocate and champion for those who cannot speak up for themselves.
"It is to be celebrated that we are living longer and healthier lives and there is much in Wales we can and should be proud of. Older people make such a positive difference to us all through their community work, volunteering and their role as carers, mothers, fathers, grandparents, friends and mentors. But too many older people in Wales live in poverty, isolation, have poor health, experience discrimination, abuse and a lack of choice and control. Tackling these issues is a challenge for us all in Wales.
"I expect all of us in public service across Wales, all of us who care about and care for older people, to address these challenges and to deliver for older people. I look forward to working with others across Wales to help them in their work and ensure that we make progress in addressing these issues. I will hold to account those that fail to do so.
"Wales has led the way in establishing the world's first Older People's Commission, reflecting a commitment to improving the lives of older people. Older people are one of our greatest assets and I look forward to working with and for them over the next four years, playing my part in making sure that within Wales we not only protect and support those who are the most vulnerable, but that we also make Wales a great place to grow older for everyone.”