Sarah Rochira Biography
Sarah took up post as the Older People's Commissioner for Wales on 4 June 2012 having spent over 25 years within the public and third sectors in Wales.
Over the course of her career she has worked within a wide range of NHS organisations across Wales, including acute hospital, community and primary care and mental health services and as a commissioner of services. She also had specific responsibilities within the NHS in Wales for equality and diversity, organisational development, training and education programmes and communication.
Sarah has worked extensively with and for older people. She served as Director of the RNIB Cymru Group from 2008-12, a membership based organisation and the largest sight loss charity within the UK providing extensive front line services and support, to the 110,000 people within Wales with a sight loss, the majority of whom are older people. She has also been an active campaigner for changes to UK and Welsh Government policy and priorities.
In 2009, Sarah established, and has been Chair of, the Wales Vision Strategy, a World Health Organisation linked initiative that brought together over 25 partner organisations with the purpose of reducing blindness and ensuring effective support to people within Wales who live with sight loss. Prior to taking up her post as Commissioner, Sarah was Chair of Age Alliance Wales, an alliance of 20 national voluntary organisations committed to working together to support and inform the development of legislation, policy and services to improve the lives of older people.
Sarah is passionate about making a difference to the lives of all older people in Wales. As Commissioner, she will ensure that they have a strong voice, and will be a vocal advocate and champion for those who cannot speak up for themselves.
As part of Adult Learners Week 2014, the Commissioner’s Communities, Local Government and Wellbeing Lead, Iwan Williams, looks at the importance of lifelong learning opportunities for older people.
This Sunday, 15 June, is World Elder Abuse awareness day, a day when the world collectively speaks out against the abuse of and crimes against older people. All older people, wherever they live, whatever their situation, have a right to be safe, a right to be protected.
I am a carer for my Mum who is 67yrs old and lives with dementia. Of course I wouldn’t normally describe myself as that; I’m just a daughter who loves her Mum. I have a wonderful family who care for each other deeply. We all live together in Chepstow: Mum, Dad, my husband, two children and I in a multi-generational home.
This week has been Volunteers Week, a celebration of the fantastic contribution made every day by volunteers across Wales and the UK.
As the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, I represent almost 800,000 people across our country. As their champion, I work to give them their voice back and to make sure that the issues that matter to them are being addressed by our policy makers and public services in Wales. Older people are very clear about what constitutes good public service.
Our guest blog this week is from Macmillan Cancer Support Wales, who discuss the results of the first Welsh cancer patient experience survey...