A reference group made up of members of the public will meet for the first time tomorrow, as part of a National Assembly for Wales committee inquiry into residential care for older people.
The group consists of people from across Wales who have first-hand experience of supporting those in residential care or those facing the prospect of requiring care of this kind.
Their objective is to provide the committee with a personal perspective on the evidence gathered throughout the inquiry.
They will also be asked to offer their views about the best recommendations the committee could make to improve care services for older people in Wales.
“Residential care is a delicate yet important issue - we are talking about a population which has increasingly complex needs,” said Mark Drakeford AM, Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee.
“When discussing residential care, an older loved one - perhaps in need of specialist support - is often involved.
"As such, decisions relating to the appropriate level of care needed, and where it can be found, can be very difficult indeed.
“What we intend to do with this inquiry is examine the pathways through which residential care is entered and how effectively services are meeting the diverse needs of the ageing population in Wales.
“The Committee has established this reference group because it believes that the personal experiences and points of view of its members will be invaluable to our deliberations.”
The reference group is being facilitated by Age Cymru and Crossroads Care.
Graeme Francis from Age Cymru said:
“We are delighted to be involved with this important piece of work.
"Residential care will impact on most of us in one way or another during our lifetimes, and as such, so will the findings of this inquiry.
“This is why it is absolutely vital that the evidence heard by this inquiry reflects the realities of the residential care system in Wales and we commend the Committee for giving a voice to people whose experiences will do just that.”
Angela Roberts from Crossroads Care said:
“This is such an innovative approach to such an important issue and we are delighted to be involved and have this opportunity to amplify voices that are not always heard.
“It’s a refreshing slant on democracy in action from the Health and Social Care Committee and the National Assembly for Wales.”
The reference group will meet for the first time in Committee Room 4, Tŷ Hywel, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff on Wednesday 14 March at 10.30.