2013 was a difficult year for many older people in Wales.
Last winter 1,900 people in Wales – most of them over 65s, died from preventable cold-related illnesses – a 50% increase on the previous winter.
It was also the time when older people in Wales were statistically more likely to cut back on their heating and eating than those anywhere else in the UK.
In 2013, thousands of older people across Wales - many with conditions such as dementia, were conned out of their money by dodgy doorstep traders and scam mail.
Ill-health was also a problem for over 65s in Wales last year, with the Welsh Health Survey 2012 showing that 62% of over 65s in Wales were overweight or obese.
Age Cymru is the national older people’s charity for Wales and it is our mission to improve the lives of older people.
In 2014, we will be working with our local charity partners across Wales to make sure that no stone is left unturned to make this ambition a reality.
We feel it is unacceptable that older people can be targeted by criminals seeking to take advantage of them.
This is why, during the next 12 months, Age Cymru will be campaigning to make sure older people receive increased protection from abuse and financial scams through our ‘Scams and swindles’ campaign and Dementia Project.
It’s time to celebrate the fact that we’re living longer and largely healthier lives, but we must also not shy away from tackling the problems older people face.
Over the next year, Age Cymru will be working in communities across Wales to give people information and advice that will help them to make choices that will allow them to a have a healthier lifestyle.
We feel strongly that every community in Wales should be an age-friendly place which allows older people to feel valued, independent and be safe from harm.
Age Cymru will continue to support older people’s groups in 2014 as they campaign to have a voice and choice on the issues affecting their lives.
We will also be encouraging the Welsh Government to adopt the concept of age-friendly communities as a cornerstone of all its public policy decisions.
Chief Executive, Age Cymru