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Author: COPNI
Published on 21 January 2013 11:30 AM

'So glad we have a Commissioner who will fight for older people’s rights in Northern Ireland.'

This is just one of the many positive comments made about the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, Claire Keatinge, over the last three months during her extensive round of meetings with older people across Northern Ireland.

The Commissioner has met more than 800 older people and their representatives to share and test their views on her draft themes and priorities for action. More than half of the 20 events were supported by Age NI and their Older People’s Networks with many attendees representing older people’s organisations from across Northern Ireland.

The Commissioner received strong feedback from the attendees of the autumn events and there was unanimous support for her to take forward the issues identified.

What else did older people say about the Commissioner’s priorities?

‘I hope Claire Keatinge will be able to fix many of the issues discussed today.’
‘Excellent list of priorities. Glad to see the tough issues such as elder abuse being tackled.’
‘Thank you Claire for coming to address us today. You put life into me.’

So what’s next for the Commissioner’s draft themes and priorities?

The Commissioner will develop a draft corporate plan taking account of the feedback she has received at all these events and public consultation on the draft corporate plan is expected to take place in the Spring. As work progresses, the Commissioner will have a better understanding of the real experience of older people across a range of issues that are important to older people. The Commissioner will use the unique powers provided to her by legislation appropriately. She will seek to strengthen the efforts of other organisations and to make a contribution to positive change so that today’s older people will be recognised and valued and the rest of us can look forward to ageing with hope, confidence and certainty.

The Commissioner’s draft priorities (in brief)

  • To support and challenge the Government’s new active ageing strategy. 
  • To review the law on elder abuse and adult social care.
  • To review clearance rates for crime against older people.
  • To consider the measures being taken to reduce pensioner poverty (including fuel poverty).
  • To review the complaints arrangements in public bodies and the standards set for delivery and inspection in nursing, residential and domiciliary settings.
  • To establish the experience of older people using accident and emergency services.
  • To find out why NI has the lowest percentage of older carers in receipt of carers assessments.

For more information about the Commissioner’s draft themes, priorities, legislative duties and powers and news about her activities, contact COPNI on 028 9089 0892, email, textphone 028 9050 0589 or visit

For more information: Call Age NI Advice: 0808 808 7575