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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Older People's Commissioner visits county HQ

Denbighshire councillors heard first hand about the work being carried out by the Older People's Commissioner for Wales, Sarah Rochira, visited County Hall, Ruthin, on Monday.

Ms Rochira (below right) talked about her role and her priorities for action to ensure the wellbeing of all older people and that policies are in place to reduce any barriers to leading a fulfilling life into old age.

She told members about some of her key aims, which include promoting awareness of the rights and interests of older people in Wales, challenging discrimination, encouraging best practice in the treatment of older people and reviewing on the law affecting the interests of older people.

During the discussion, councillors also heard about what Denbighshire is doing in response to the Commissioner's agenda for change.

Cabinet Lead Member for Social Care, Councillor Bobby Feeley, and Older People’s Champion for Denbighshire, said: "It is well documented that we have a high proportion of elderly people living in our County and that demographic change is a key factor in our planning for the future.

"This is why it is important that we have excellent links with the Commissioner and to ensure we are working closely with her to provide the best service we can to our older residents and embedding the wellbeing of older people at the heart of our public services across the board - not just within a social services context.

"We completely agree with her that some aspects of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Bill are not fully worked out yet- laudable though they are. In particular we are concerned that the Bill is not fully costed.

"It has been extremely useful to hear from the Commissioner and I'm sure all members will take away something from our meeting with the Commissioner."

Ms Rochira said: “It was a pleasure to meet with Denbighshire County Councillors in Ruthin.

“This meeting provided a good opportunity to speak to councillors about my priorities. These include the need to focus more strongly on key local and community-based facilities such as buses and community transport, public toilets, pavements and community centres.

“These are essential to the maintenance of older people’s health, independence and wellbeing. As we grow older as a nation, we need to fundamentally rethink how we design and plan our communities.”

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