Making Sure We Protect Older People's Wellbeing; Deputy Social Services Minister Gwenda Thomas on How a New Monitor Will Direct Policy
ON THE day that Rhodri Morgan stood down as First Minister I was privileged to issue a state of the nation report on the wellbeing of older people in Wales. It was a fitting day for the launch of the Older People's Wellbeing Monitor as it was a timely reminder that, in Wales, we have the highest proportion of people of state pensionable age all the UK regions.
Our older population aged 85 and over is projected to more than double in size to more than 156,000 by 2031. We cannot ignore these statistics or the other figures that starkly identify the demographic transformation happening in our country.
For our part, the monitor is a milestone research report that aims to provide a multidimensional, reliable and current picture of wellbeing.
It will guide the future work of the Assembly Government and its partners in planning for an ageing society to improve the lives of older people.
This is the first such monitor of older people in the UK - probably the world - and links into an international agenda through following the values of the United Nations' principles for older persons.
It will set the benchmark for comparison for years to come with regular updates planned on a three-year cycle.
In essence the monitor is a report that brings together all the relevant robust research written in the past 10 years on older people in Wales, to steer policy decisions in the future and pinpoint evidence gaps for further study.
Its focus is on five wellbeing themes which are derived from the UN principles and the Assembly Government's strategy for older people. These will provide the mechanism to track progress over time.
As well as providing statistics of the most up-to-date research, the monitor also includes quotes from older people recorded by a team of researchers from Glyndwr University. …