Wales appoints ‘Champion’ for older people’s rights

The Welsh Assembly Government will announce the identity of its first Commissioner for Older People within the next week.

In a move that echoes Labor’s election promise of an ‘Ambassador for Ageing’, Wales has appointed its inaugural Commissioner for Older People to champion the rights of the elderly.

Interviews for the position were held in November and it is expected that the successful candidate will be named within the next week, according to an article on icwales.co.uk

Lobby groups have already called on the new commissioner to improve the standing of people in residential aged care.

Victoria Lloyd, of Help the Aged Cymru, said these people should be able to enjoy same rights they would have if they lived in their own homes.

“We want someone who’s not afraid to take on the system, who is not afraid to stand up for the rights of older people,” she said.

She also urged the commissioner to use his or her influence to push for measures to ensure people over 60 claim all the benefits to which they are entitled.

Help the Aged estimates £4.5bn in entitlements for the elderly goes unclaimed in Britain each year – enough to lift 500,000 people across the UK out of poverty, and a similar number out of “deep poverty”.

The Welsh Assembly Government defines anyone aged 60 or more as an older person and there are close to 660,000 such people in Wales at the moment.

A spokesperson for the Commonwealth Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot, told Australian Ageing Agenda that the position of ‘Ambassador for Ageing’ in Australia was being considered at the moment.

“The Minister is currently considering the matter and will make a decision in due course,” she said.

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