Declaration of the Rights of Older People

Wales has been innovative in establishing the Strategy for Older People in Wales, the Older People's Well-being Monitor and the world's first Older People's Commissioner. The Strategy, Monitor and Commissioner are required to reflect the values of the UN Principles for Older Persons in their work.

In October 2012, the Older People's Commissioner issued a briefing to the First Minister of Wales which said that whilst many positive steps have been taken to protect the interests of older people in Wales more could be done, particularly in relation to upholding the rights of older people. The UN Principles are helpful but the Commissioner has found that the Principles have little meaning for older people in Wales because they lack ownership of them.

The number of older people in Wales is growing and there is no dedicated set of rights for older people in the Welsh context. Age discrimination and ageism are widely tolerated across the world and Wales should demonstrate that we are not willing to tolerate such attitudes.

The Commissioner has challenged the Welsh Government to set a 'gold standard' in the treatment of older people. A Welsh Declaration of the Rights of Older People would demonstrate a commitment to such a standard.

On 11 December 2012, the Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services announced the Welsh Government's commitment to exploring a Welsh Declaration of the Rights of Older People that would send very clear signals to statutory bodies and service providers, as well as to older people themselves, about expectations in Wales when older people receive the support and services they need to lead independent and full lives. She also announced that the Commissioner would lead an Advisory Group to give advice to the Welsh Government on the potential content, parameters and impact of such a Declaration. 

The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales has welcomed the introduction of a Welsh Declaration of the Rights of Older People, which will protect and enhance the rights of older people across Wales. 

Click here to read the Declaration

Click here to read the full Advisory Group report