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Published on 08 April 2011 01:30 PM

Protecting and promoting the dignity of older people in care must be a priority for the next Welsh Assembly Government.

That’s the message today from Age Cymru.

We are raising awareness of the issues older voters have said will matter to them on polling day for the National Assembly elections on 5 May.

Our Director of Influencing and Programme Development, Victoria Lloyd, says:

“Dignity is a vital part of the treatment, rehabilitation and eventual discharge for people receiving care.

“Older voters have told us that making sure people who are receiving care – be it in hospital or a care home setting, are treated with dignity is very important to them.

“Indeed, many of the people we’ve spoken to have first-hand experience of their family members, friends or even themselves being talked down to or not being supported to eat and drink or to use toilet facilities.

“This is completely unacceptable and older people and their families should be able to feel confident that they will always be provided with high standards of compassionate care.”

Based on what older people have told us, Age Cymru is calling for:

• The Welsh Assembly Government to protect frontline staffing levels and to urgently address failings in standards of basic care in hospitals and care homes when they occur;

• Mandatory human rights training for all staff involved in personal care of patients within health and social care to help ensure that people are treated with dignity and respect;

• Screenings for malnutrition in health and care settings as standard practice by all health boards to guarantee that patients get the food and drink they need and any necessary help with consuming it;

Victoria Lloyd concludes:

“Older voters are a major influence on the outcome of elections and this year, 75 per cent of constituencies in Wales can expect to see more than half of the vote cast by people aged 55 or over.

“Making sure that older people are treated with dignity and respect when they are receiving care must be a priority for the next Welsh Assembly Government.”

For more information: Call Age Cymru Advice: 08000 223 444