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Commissioner: Disappointing that Committee Inquiry could reinforce ageist attitudes

03.10.17

Responding to the announcement that the National Assembly for Wales’ Finance Committee is undertaking an Inquiry into the ‘Cost of an Ageing Population’, Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Sarah Rochira, said:

“Whilst I welcome the aims of the Finance Committee’s latest Inquiry to ensure that the right health and social care services are in place in Wales and sustainable, I am disappointed that it has been framed in a way that reinforces negative stereotypes and the ageist narrative that presents older people as a burden on society. 

“Older people are a phenomenal asset, contributing over £1bn to the Welsh economy every year. Furthermore, without the significant contribution older people make as volunteers, unpaid carers and child care providers, our public services would be under even greater pressure.

“According to the terms of reference set out for the Inquiry, the committee will be looking at a range of factors that will impact upon the cost of providing health and social care, yet once again a focus has been placed upon older people and creates the impression that they are somehow to blame for the expected increase in costs in the years ahead.

“I have raised my serious concerns with the Committee and I am pleased that these will be taken into consideration. I look forward to seeing a reframing of the terms of reference and giving evidence to the Committee in due course.”