Commissioner's priorities for action

Following his appointment the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, Eddie Lynch, launched his draft priorities for action. It is important to the Commissioner that his work reflects the opinions of older people, so he held a series of engagement events across Northern Ireland to hear their views. 

The Commissioner formed the draft priorities for action for his term, taking into account the issues identified through research, casework queries directed to the COPNI office and from speaking with older people.

Commissioner launching draft priorities

In compiling the list of draft priorities, some difficult choices had to be made based on the resources available to the Commissioner. Careful consideration was also given to those areas where the Commissioner believes his legal powers and duties can be most effective in creating positive change for older people in Northern Ireland.

The Commissioner's draft priorities for action are: 

Respect

  • Social inclusion: Ensuring older people remain connected to where they want to be and to their families and friends. 
  • Examine the arrangements for older people in nursing care and residential settings. 
  • Press for the introduction of legislation to end age discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services. 
  • Monitor and review emerging policy proposals from government to ensure older people receive the health and social care services and support they need. 

Value

  • Encourage employment and entrepreneurship for those over 60. 
  • Highlight the benefits of older people getting online and encourage digital inclusion. 
  • Advocate with government on behalf of older people to be a priority in the Programme for Government.
  • Monitor implementation of actions outlined in the Active Ageing Strategy. 
  • Advocate on behalf of, and support those living with age-related health conditions. 
  • Help and support older people to make plans and communicate their choices for their end of life. 

Protect

  • Look at the strategic approach to the provision of services and support for dementia in Northern Ireland.
  • Examine the role of the health and social care regulator and make recommendations to improve its effectiveness.
  • Identify the scale of financial abuse against older people, raise awareness of the issue and challenge relevant organisations to make required changes.
  • Work with criminal justice agencies to better support older people who are victims of crime.
  • Press government for the introduction of an Adult Safeguarding Bill for Northern Ireland.  

Over my term I will be focusing on how we can create a society which respects, values and protects older people.

Engagement on the Commissioner's draft priorities

The Commissioner held a series of events across Northern Ireland to meet with older people, their families and carers and find out about the issues that matter to them.

Meeting hundreds of older people in Ballymena, Cookstown, Derry/Londonderry, Belfast, Armagh, Enniskillen, Newry and beyond, the Commissioner heard about issues including pensions, dementia, crime, age related health conditions and caring. 

Feedback from the events is being considered and the Commissioner will launch his finalised priorities shortly.

If you would like to receive a copy of the Commissioner's prioritises by post or email as soon as they are launched, please email communications@copni.org or call 028 9089 0899.

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