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The benefits of independent older people’s representation and why its development should be supported

Steven George Milsom (Steven George Milsom is a Chair Cymru Older Peoples Alliance, Cardiffan, UK)

Working with Older People

ISSN: 1366-3666

Article publication date: 3 November 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this papers is to set out the advantages to local communities of independent representation of older people by older people through active and vibrant older people’s forums and groups and the rationale for Councils in Wales to support their revitalisation and development.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper describes how semi-structured action research and follow-up discussion and analysis over a two-year period was undertaken by older people with representatives of Older Peoples Forums and groups to identify a strategy to restart and revitalise independent forums post pandemic to represent the voice of older people to government at all levels.

Findings

Facilitation of the independent and self-determined voice of older people through genuine co-production with Forums can help Councils meet statutory duties and ensure their policies and services for older people are developed and informed from the direct experience of those receiving them. This will also help address the impacts of an ageing population and meet the national aim to create age-friendly communities across Wales.

Social implications

This research provides a basis for Councils to work with Independent Older Peoples Forums and groups to restart and regenerate the forums and promote the self-determined voice of older people to government at all levels.

Originality/value

In an ageing society older people should be empowered and enabled to make their own decisions. The principle of self-determination by older people for older people directly and through co-productive engagement with them by local authorities has meaning and purpose that should be promoted and implemented. If age-friendly communities are to be developed across Wales, then collaboration on this basis is required including through independent 50+ forums in localities.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was undertaken through general funding to Cymru Older People's Alliance from Welsh Government.

Citation

Milsom, S.G. (2022), "The benefits of independent older people’s representation and why its development should be supported", Working with Older People, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/WWOP-09-2022-0038

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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