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Charity launches journal on Keeping voice, choice and control when growing older in Wales

Published on 15 May 2019 11:22 AM

Age Cymru is today (Tuesday 14 May 2019) launching the thirteenth edition of its discussion journal EnvisAGE which shines a spotlight on the importance of 'Keeping voice, choice and control when growing older'.

The charity says having our views, wishes and feelings respected and taken into consideration are important to all of us, and it is essential that older people feel empowered to speak up about their own choices and views. Independent advocacy services can play an important role by helping people to have a voice and regain control in difficult situations, and it can help secure their rights and represent their interests

The journal, launched at the National Assembly for Wales, brings together the thoughts and ideas of a number of experts in the field currently working in Wales.

The Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt AM says: "Knowing our rights, having a voice and having control in decisions that affect us are vitally important to us all. They are matters of identity, self-determination, self-expression and human rights. All older people should feel that they have voice, choice and control over their lives and that they have the right support to make informed decisions and exercise their rights, particularly in situations within which they are vulnerable. This latest edition of EnvisAGE is a very welcome and timely contribution to an important public debate on how we can make rights real for older people in Wales."

Mike Hedges AM, Chair, Cross-Party Group on Older People and Ageing says: "I am very pleased to welcome the publication of the thirteenth edition of Age Cymru's discussion journal, EnvisAGE. The theme of this year's collection of articles on voice, choice and control for older people is very timely, and an important contribution to today's Cross-Party Group discussion with the Deputy Minister about older people's rights."

Dr Bernadette Fuge OBE, President, Age Cymru says: "Voice, choice and control are essential prerequisites for people being able to exercise their rights. We are delighted that so many influential experts in their field have contributed articles to share their expertise and good practice towards keeping voice, choice and control when growing older. I hope this edition of EnvisAGE will help to inform and stimulate debate and decision making about older people's rights at national, regional and local level across Wales."

In this edition, Professor John Williams of Aberystwyth University focuses on the importance of older people being able to make choices, and to understand their rights and make informed decisions. The article highlights that dignity and choice are closely related, and concludes that in social care, health care, safeguarding, legal matters and day to day living, the right of older people to make a fully informed and freely made choice must be respected and protected.

Andrew Dunning of Swansea University draws on a personal perspective to reflect on the importance of recognising advocacy as a means of securing and exercising older people's rights, and the article provides an overview of social policy relating to voice, choice and control.

Gail Hamer and Jill Ball of Age Cymru Powys present an overview of advocacy services for older people in Powys, and Jill provides an insight into her role as an advocate.

Dr Juping Yu and Professor Mark Llewellyn of the University of South Wales draw on findings from a study evaluating the 'Help to be Heard' volunteer-led advocacy service for older people in Carmarthenshire, highlighting what service users have said about the beneficial impact of advocacy.

Lowri Williams, writing on behalf of the Welsh Language Commissioner and Alzheimer's Society Cymru, focuses on Welsh speakers' dementia care. The article outlines findings of research drawing on the experiences and voices of people living with dementia, and highlights that providing services in Welsh to people with dementia is a matter of clinical need.

Heléna Herklots, the Older People's Commissioner for Wales, focuses on a recommendation made in the 'Making Voices Heard' report around a call to extend the 'active offer' of advocacy to older people in care homes and awaiting hospital discharge to enable them to exercise their rights and ensure their voices are heard.

In the final article, Louise Hughes of Age Cymru reports on the achievements of the Golden Thread Advocacy Programme which aims to develop a national framework for commissioning independent professional advocacy for adults in Wales, to support and build the capacity of the advocacy sector in Wales, and to raise awareness of advocacy.

Ends.

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