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Addressing the Assembly in the Senedd today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, detailed the eight bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the second year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
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Development of a Strategy for Older People in Wales
Draft Terms of Reference
1. The draft terms of reference for the Strategy are:
"That older people in Wales should have the right to live independently and with dignity. To support them in achieving this, we will formulate a strategy to provide services in a timely and appropriate way, to promote their health and well-being and which enables them to maximise their independence, potential and participation."
2. In general there is some correlation between increasing age and increasing frailty, vulnerability and need for support and care. Many "young elderly" are relatively fit and fiercely independent. It will be important that the strategy takes account of the wide variation between people in the way they experience, and respond to, ageing. An Older Person is defined for the purpose of the Strategy as an individual age 60 or over, but many of the recommendations and issues it covers will have most significance for those at the older end of the age range, which might be defined as being "the last few years of life" – recognising that this too will not reflect the experience of all older people.
Draft Aims of Strategy
3. To develop a strategy to promote the long term health, social care and well being for older people within which local authorities, the health services and their partners in the voluntary and independent sectors, can work together to
- reflect the United Nations principles for Older Persons
- safeguard older people who are frail or otherwise vulnerable
- raise standards of care and other support for Older people
- support people if they wish to remain independent and in their own homes as long as practicable
- addresses the needs and maximises the independence of frail and vulnerable people in the final stage of their life
- provide seamless and complementary support from (and, where appropriate, transition between) health and social care, housing and related services including sheltered and lifetime homes
- ensure that the services on which Older people depend are organised around, and responsive, to the needs of the Older people and their carers and are fairly and sustainably funded
- protecting and improving the health and well being of older people address problems for Older People in respect of transport, bus & train services/fares, access, mobility and living in rural areas
- tackles discrimination against Older people in the workplace and promote a positive image of Older people in society
- promotes access to lifelong learning among Older People and extends access to and awareness of Welsh culture, heritage and sporting opportunities supports continuing employment for those who want it
4. The Strategy programme will be progressed by a Steering Group, chaired by Mr Brian Gibbons AM and involving a wide range of relevant interests and representative organisations. A sub group Chaired by the Chief Nursing Officer will report to the Steering Group on implementation of long term care funding reforms. An official level group will project manage the process to ensure its is completed to time and meets its objectives. The programme will include:
- a statement of policy objectives and principles, to build on those included in Better Wales and to guide future policy development
- a literature review of research/academic reports etc which covers all aspects of the lives of Older People
- A programme of further research/analysis that addresses any information deficiencies in respect of the background picture on older people in Wales.
- A session on the Strategy at each of the Assembly Regional Committees and an all Wales event to gather evidence and seek views of older people and their representatives.
- A programme of focus groups to ensure the views of older people are taken into account.
- some Consultancy work to develop a portfolio of case studies about services for Older People, identifying what works well and the factors that contribute to that success
- Wide ranging written consultation
- an audit of existing programmes and initiatives targeted at the support arrangements for the Older and their strengths and weaknesses;
- an analysis of the gaps in the current programmes, with an indication of the priorities they each have for future development;
- targets for implementing existing policy initiatives, and performance /indicators which can measure progress; and
- proposals for funding priorities and any adjustments to existing programmes
development of a ‘futures’ programme to focus Assembly policies impacting on Older People in the medium term
Draft Strategy Themes
5. The Strategy will need to have a wide coverage if it is to be both comprehensive and to be sensitive to the differing needs and expectations of older people. The following themes will form the basis of the Strategy:
- health and Social Care for the Elderly ie primary and community care: services to help people maintain their independence and continue to live at home; carers, the National Service Framework for Elderly people; joined up services to avoid crises
- health promotion and healthy living for Elderly people: Keep Warm, Keep Well and beyond, the role of local Health Alliances
- housing services; supporting people: supported housing revenue grants and other benefits issues; other local government services eg leisure needs
- social inclusion: older people within the community; Personal Security and Safety; the role of the voluntary sector; Ageing and Ethnicity, age discrimination
- transport, access, mobility; rural living
- lifelong leaning and employment of Older People, Libraries, museums and galleries,
- Non Devolved issues: Better Government: Elderly people as consumers/positive image of Elderly People, law and order, benefits, pensions, savings, take up of the Minimum Income Guarantee.
Whilst the Strategy will include non devolved matters, the emphasis of that work will be on providing an evidenced basis for the Assembly to influence UK Government about the case for any change needed in these areas.
An overarching Strategy of around 50 pages will be produced but will be supported by a range of background documents and material that will form a resource library that will be available to the public.
6. The Strategy will need to address across all its theme’s some basic questions ie
- What are the main problems facing older people: the main concerns are often about loss of control and certainty: transport, housing, access, safety etc.
- What issues or causes lead to deterioration or disablement in the lives of older people?
- When things go wrong, what are the systems in place to provide support?
7. The aim is for the draft Strategy to be completed by early 2002 for consideration by the Health and Social Services Committee in spring 2002 and to publish it for completion of consultation by summer 2002
S G Milsom, Social Care Policy Division, National Assembly for Wales, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF1 3NQ (Tel 029 20 823206 fax 20823924 e mail: Steve.Milsom@Wales.gsi.gov.uk)
Social Care Policy