Call for champion to have wider powers

The commissioner for older people in Wales should be given
far-reaching powers to champion their interests, older people’s
experts have said.

It follows the announcement last week by Welsh secretary Peter
Hain of the government’s intention to legislate for the
establishment of an older people’s commissioner in Wales by

Details of the role will be in a draft bill during the current
parliamentary session. Hain said the commissioner “will champion
the rights and dignity of older people, protect them from
discrimination and prejudice and provide an input to influence
future government policies”.

Win Tadd, senior research fellow at Cardiff University and
author of a report into treating older people with dignity, said
the commissioner would need powers to investigate allegations of
institutional abuse and impose penalties.

She added that the commissioner should have a role in assessing
the quality of services provided by councils, the NHS and private
and independent providers and tackle the generational divide.

Byron Williams, older people’s spokesperson for the Association
of Directors of Social Services, said the commissioner would be
essential in changing attitudes to older people.

“The commissioner will have a key role to play in monitoring the
reality of older people’s experiences.”

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