The ageing population is constantly increasing across the world nevertheless age discrimination and ageism are widely tolerated. For this reason it is becoming more and more urgent to adopt a rights-based approach to the delivery of public service for older people. Wales' initiative, which marks a step in the right direction, can be an example for many other countries facing the same demographic challenge.
Wales has led the way in ageing policy in the UK and Europe by establishing the Strategy for Older People in Wales and the world's first Older People's Commissioner, both of which reflect the UN Principles for Older Persons.
The third phase of the Welsh Government`s Strategy for Older People “Living Longer, Living Better” runs from 2013 – 2023 and sets out the following goals:
- People in Wales feel valued and supported, whatever their age
- All older people in Wales have the social, environmental and financial resources they need to deal with opportunities and challenges they face
A Strategy for Older People – Ageing Well in Anglesey 2014-19 sets out our local priorities on Anglesey.
Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014
The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 provides for the first time, a coherent Welsh legal framework for social services.
It transforms the way social services are delivered, promoting people’s independence to provide them a stronger voice and more control. It also encourages a renewed focus on early intervention and prevention.
Wellbeing of Future Generations Wales Act 2015
The Wellbeing of Future Generations Wales Act 2015 is about improving the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales.
It will make the public bodies listed in the Act think more about the long term, work closer with people and communities and each other, look to prevent problems and take a more joined-up approach.
Human rights are not just about the law and taking cases to court. The Human Rights Act influences the way public services are delivered to older people. The Human Rights Act mentions that providers of public services, such as staff at residential homes and hospitals or carers in your own home, must make sure that they do not breach your human rights.
Mental Capacity Act
Mental capacity means you have ability to make your own decisions. If you lose mental capacity the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) protects you and your rights.
In 2014 Anglesey County Council signed the Dublin Declaration of Age Friendly Cities and Communities. By signing the Declaration we pledge to commit to specific actions and principles that aim to ensure that older people in Anglesey have the opportunities to make the most of their lives and to play as full a part as possible in their communities.
Declaration of Rights for Older People in Wales
Whilst in itself has no binding legal effect, they do clearly spell out the rights of older people in Wales as already underpinned by law. The Declaration helps by ensuring that statutory bodies and service providers who work for, or on behalf of older people know what is expected when providing services for older people.
United Nations Principles for Older Persons
A set of legal rules / principles that work in partnership with the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 and the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 to ensure that citizens well-being is met through outcomes and choices whist allowing their voice to be heard without compromising their Human rights.
There are 18 Principles which fall under various categories including, dignity, independence, participation, care, self-fulfilment, and the Human Rights Act.
Know Your Rights
Know Your Rights is an easy guide written by the Office of the Commissioner for Older People in Wales. It helps people who believe they`ve been treated unfairly and to ask for help.