Older People’s Commissioner
As a result of the large amounts of information we receive courtesy of our member Mr Steve Bartley, who works for the Commissioner, we appreciate that our members might find it difficult to locate the item they are looking for amongst the rest of the item on the Welfare Issues page.
In order to make it easier for our members, we have introduced this page which is where all items and links for more information in relation to the commissioners work etc will now be published. Newest items will be at the top, but there are still older items further down which may still benefit our members.
IF YOU SEE AN ITEM WHERE THE TEXT AREA IS IN RED THEN THIS MATTER IS TIME CRITICAL AND THERE WILL BE A DATE ON THE ITEM AFTER WHICH NO ACTIONS CAN BE TAKEN
COST OF LIVING CRISIS
Many thanks to Mr Dave A'herne for providing us with the following:
The below is a link to the Elderly Peoples Commissioner for Wales and her special edition update dealing with the cost of living and the available government grants and allowances available to the elderly.
It may be of use to members and they may wish to share with friends and relatives.
UNCLAIMED STATE BENEFITS
With the price of energy drastically expected to increase in April, the information below from the Older People's Commissioner, says there are many benefits which are going unclaimed.
1. Click on the link below and it opens up into the February 2022 Newsletter from the Commissioner.
2. Click on the highlighted News Letter, which opens up into "A message from Helene"
3. Page 2, Pension Credit, go on that website: www.gov.uk/pension-credit
4. On the right hand side of the screen is Related contents; click on Pension Credit calculator .
5. You can put in your own financial situation to see if you are eligible to claim. Its completely anonymous.
to view the entire newsletter copy the below into your web browser
‘Enabling Access to Information and Services in a Digital Age’
The following information has been received by our Chairman & Welfare officer Mr Dave A'herne and is reproduced here for the benefit of our members. This information may prove invaluable to members and their families. Please take the time to read it and the linked documents.
As you know, the Commissioner recently issued her Section 12 Guidance: ‘Enabling Access to Information and Services in a Digital Age’ to local authorities and health boards, which sets out what needs to be delivered to ensure older people can access information and services in a digital age, and that their rights are protected and upheld. It is available to read or download here.
To accompany the Guidance the Commissioner has also produced an information booklet for older people called ‘Getting the information and services you need- Know your rights’ which is available here and attached as a pdf for your convenience.
Paper copies of the booklet are also available, and we would appreciate your assistance with their distribution to older people who may not be online or to those who would prefer to have a paper copy. Versions in alternative formats i.e. Braille/audio, BSL are also available. If you are able to assist, please could you reply to this email indicating the numbers you require and the postal address you would like them sent to.
For information, over the coming months the Commissioner is hosting a number of online engagement events for older people, where those attending will be provided with the pdf version and will also be invited to help share the paper copies with people they know. We are also contacting local authority coordinators for their assistance, so there may be some cross-over and duplication.
Finally, we would love to receive feedback on the booklet – whether people think it is easy to understand – useful – good to have etc and would appreciate any help you are able to offer in that regard.
Thank you in anticipation
Arweinydd Gwasanaethau Cymunedol a Chynhwysiant / Community Services and Inclusion Lead
Comisiynydd Pobl Hŷn Cymru / Older People’s Commissioner for Wales
Adeiladau Cambrian / Cambrian Buildings
Sgwâr Mount Stuart / Mount Stuart Square
Caerdydd / Cardiff, CF10 5FL
MORE HELFUL LINKS
We are once again thankful to the contributions made by Mr. Steve Bartley that will be assistance to our members here are some addition lenks provided by the OPC 4 Wales in relation to a number of topics.
(1) DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Get help and learn more about Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence <http://livefearfree.gov.wales/domestic-abuse-and-sexual-violence/>
Abuse and violence such as these includes rape and coercive control. Live Fear Free Helpline: 0808 8010 800 or go to the website
(2) GET SAFE ON LINE
Get Safe Online is a joint initiative between the Government, law enforcement agencies, public and private sector companies from the world of technology, communication, retail and finance to raise awareness of internet security, and help individuals and smaller businesses in the UK to use the internet confidently and safely.
On Tuesday 1st September, Get Safe Online’s ‘Auto Fraud’ campaign will be going live. Whether buying or selling a car, van, truck, motorcycle or other vehicle online, this month's campaign highlights our expert safety checklists. For more information check out their website:
ONLINE CRIME & SCAMMERS
Once again many thanks to Mr Steve Bartley for providing us with more information:
The Older Peoples Commissioner for Wales has provided a few simple steps can help older people to protect themselves from online crime and scams.
To view the document, please CLICK on the link text below:
OLDER PERSONS RIGHTS & COVID 19
The following link has been provided by OPC 4 WALES and is the link to the written statement published today by Welsh Government which may be of interest to our members.
OPC - NEWSLETTER DEC 2019
Once again our thanks to Mr Steve Bartley for keeping us in touch. The OPC 4 Wales December 2019 newsletter can be found by clicking on the link below:
Or copy this link to your web browser:
Many thanks to Mr Steve Bartley for his continued support and the provision of items that will not only be of benefit to our members but to everyone residing in Wales. The following letter and link has been published by the Commissioner and will provide access to a lot of very useful information.
Today I have published ‘Protection of Older People in Wales: A Guide to the Law’, which aims to help those working with and for older people to be more aware of the law available to support them in their day-to-day work and the ways the law can be used to protect older people and ensure their rights are upheld. A copy of the guide is attached.
This is the third edition of the guide, which has been updated to reflect recent Welsh legislation, such as the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 and the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016, and ensures that practitioners have the most up-to-date information at their fingertips.
Whilst the guide is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice, nor a definitive statement of the law, it offers a detailed overview, providing context, helpful examples and case studies taken from my casework.
The guide is also available online and is available here:
Please feel free to share this guide with any colleagues and/or stakeholders who you think would find it useful.
Legislation provides an important foundation on which many of our public services are built, but the way that the law is interpreted, applied and utilised is equally as important. Through this guide, I want to ensure that the law is understood as widely as possible and used effectively, crucial to help to ensure that older people can access the services and support they may need, that their rights are upheld and respected, and that they are safeguarded and protected.
Heléna Herklots CBE
Older People’s Commissioner for Wales
BUS PASSES - LATEST OPC UPDATE
Once again our thanks is extended to Mr Steve Bartley for this contribution
For info, please see attached a briefing that was sent by the Older People’s Commissioner to Assembly Members ahead of a Statement by the Minister for Economy and Transport on Concessionary Travel today.
TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD THE ATTACHMENT REFERRED TO ABOVE CLICK HERE
BUS PASSES & FREE SWIMMING ISSUES
The following has been received from our member Mr. Steve Bartley as is worthy of noting
I thought I would share with you the Older people’s Commissioner’s position on the change to the bus passes recently announced by Welsh Government. Below is the link to this information:
The Commissioner has written to the Minister for Transport on this issue, I will keep you informed if there are any further developments.
On another note, we have been made aware of the recent changes that have been made to the provision of free swimming for over 60’s.
In some areas this is now only available at limited periods. We are aware that this in most cases this has been limited to a specified day in the week for around 2 hours (times are specified). We are currently monitoring this situation as there appears to be different implementations of policy by local authorities on this matter.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF OLDER PERSONS
On Tuesday 1 October, the International Day of Older Persons 2019, the Commissioner is launching her State of the Nation report. The report brings together, for the first time, a wide range of evidence and research, as well as the often limited data that is currently available, to provide an overview of people’s experiences of growing older in Wales.
At the launch event, the Commissioner will be discussing the findings of the report and will also be chairing a cross party panel to explore the most effective ways to take forward her calls for action and deliver the required changes to policy and practice.
Our launch event will be streamed live on our Facebook page from 6:30pm on Tuesday, so please tune in if you can.
Follow this link to the Commissioner’s Facebook page and feel free to like, follow and share:
I would be grateful if you could circulate this to all our members.
IMPACT & REACH REPORT 2018 -2019
The Older Peoples Commissioner for Wales have published their 2018-19 Impact and Reach Report, which highlights the work delivered over the last year..
The report is available here:
OPC 4 WALES - NEWSLETTER
As part of our commitment to assist our members in any way we can, we are now providing a direct link to the mots up to date newletter published by the Older Peoples Commissioner for Wales. To view the current newletters imsply click on the link below.
Once again our thanks goes to our member Mr Stepehen Bartley for his continued support in providing us with updates from the commissioners office
Social Care and Financial Assessment and Charging
- Changes from Monday 8 April 2019
We have now received confirmation of the changes Ministers propose to introduce from Monday 8 April 2019. The changes are as follows:
Capital Limit applicable in residential care charging is to increase from £40,000 to £50,000 (the capital limit applicable in non-residential care charging is to remain as £24,000);
MIA in residential care is to increase from £28.50 to £29.50 per week;
Maximum Weekly Charge applicable in non-residential charging is to increase from £80 to £90 per week;
A full disregard is to be applied to capital compensation payments made to people affected by the drug Thalidomide.
There will be no changes in the savings disregards.
The above changes affect two set of principal regulations – The Care and Support (Charging) (Wales) Regulations 2015 and the Care and Support (Financial Assessment) (Wales) Regulations 2015. These are being amended accordingly and, as standard, will be subject to the usual legislative process before the changes can be considered as final and a legal requirement.
In addition the Part 4 and 5 Code of Practice (Charging and Financial Assessment) is being updated to reflect several technical changes. These relate to the treatment in financial assessments of payments made under new compensation schemes (Thalidomide and an approved blood scheme associated with contaminated blood products) that have come into effect over the past year or so. Again, any chances to the Code are subject to the same legislative process before they can be considered as final. Once this process has been completed the current Code will be revoked and we will publish a new version.
We will confirm the final position nearer the time.
OPC STRATEGY 2019 - 2022
We are once again endebted to Mr Steve Bartley for providing us with updates regarding the work of the Ollder Peoples Commissioner for Wales.
The two documents below indicate the plans of the commissioner for the next few years. They are worth a read.
CARE HOME GUIDANCE
If you are considering the need for a care home for yourself or a loved one / member of the family then this publication from the Older Peoples Commissioner for Wales might assist you. Our thanks is once again passed to Mr Steve Bartley for keeping us upadted with the Commissioners roles and publications.
The following has been once again received from Mr. Steven Bartley to whom we indebted for keep us updated with regards to Welfare and Health issues.
Just to let you know that the Assembly has published a ‘constituent factsheet’ on fuel poverty, which I assume is for AMs to give out from their offices.
To view the constiuent fact sheet, please CLICK HERE.
If you know someone who you think might benefit from the contents of this fact sheet please forward it to them
Advocacy Awareness Raising Video
Many thanks once agin to Mr Steven Bartley for providing us with the following information concerning advocacy
We have launched a new advocacy awareness raising video, which we’ve produced in partnership with Age Cymru. You can watch the video by copying the link to your web browser:
Alongside this, we’ve created an Advocacy Resources Hub, which brings together some useful information for older people and professionals. The hub is here: http://www.olderpeoplewales.com/en/advocacy-hub.aspx.
please feel free to share with any contacts you think may be interested / could help us promote the importance of advocacy.
A guide to respite for people affected by dementia
Once again we are grateful to Mr Steve Bartley for keeping us updated in relation to the continued work of the Older People's Commisioner for Wales who have now introduced A guide to respite for people affected by dementia.
To view this document please click on the link below
OR COPY THE BELOW LINK INTO YOUR WEB BROWSER:
OLDER PEOPLES COMMISSIONER - NEWSLETTER
We are once again indebted to our member Mr Steve Bartley for supplying us with a copy of the Older People's Commissioner's Newsletter - SUMMER 2018. The newsletter provides updatres with regards to issues being dealt with by the Commissioner as well as various points of contact regarding the issues mentioned.
For more information please click on the link below to view the document 'ON LINE'
Or copy the link into your web browser
We are once again grateful to our member Mr Steve Bartley for his continued contributions to our website in relation to all issues involving older people The Older People’s Commissioner has published the ‘Mental Capacity: An Easy Read’. This leaflet is intended for members of the public.
It is A5 size and is in English and Welsh (all in the same document).
We have printed hard copies of the document, if you want any copies then please let Mr Steve Bartley know the quantity and the postal address for them to be sent to. He can be contacted via (029) 2044 5057 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can access a copy of the leaflet by clicking on the link below:
HAVE YOU MADE A LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY
YOU MAYBE ENTITLED TO A PARTIAL REFUND
The following update has been received from Mr Steve Bartley and may affect you so have a read
Today (01/02/2018 ) is the launch of the Ministry of Justice power of attorney refund scheme, the link below will take you to the website where you can find aout a lot more about the refund scheme and how to apply.
PUBLIC GUARDIAN - UPDATE
Our grateful thanks is extended to Mr.Steve Bartley, who continues to provide us with updates from his work as the Safeguarding and Access to Justice Programme Lead with the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales.
I thought this may be of interest:
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has today updated its legal guidance for professional deputies and attorneys on the rules about giving gifts.
OPG’s gifting practice note explains the legal framework around giving gifts and has been updated to reflect recent judgements by the Court of Protection.
It also explains the approach OPG takes if deputies or attorneys go beyond their authority to give gifts on behalf of the person they act for.
The updated practice note is now available in English and Welsh on GOV.UK.
FREE CALL BLOCKERS
Can you answer YES to the following questions:
Do you or the person you are applying for receive nuisance and scam calls?
Does the person who would like the call blocker have dementia?
Many thanks to Mr Steve Bartley for providing the above information
OLDER PEOPLES COMMISIONER - COMMISSIONERS CASEBOOK
Once again we are most grateful to receive another contribution from our member Mr. Stephen Bartley from the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales.
"One of the ways in which I discharge my statutory functions as Commissioner is through the provision of direct assistance and support to older people. Every week, I am contacted by older people, as well as those who care for and care about them, and provide a range of direct support and assistance through my Casework Team.
I am publishing this casebook in order to highlight the key messages arising from my casework and to demonstrate the impact of the work of my Casework Team on the lives of older people in Wales. In addition to using the issues that arise through my casework to guide and shape my own work as Commissioner, I also raise these issues with public bodies in order to help to inform and shape their current and future practice.
Alongside my wider work as Commissioner, I will continue to use my casework to stand up and speak out for older people across Wales and ensure that our public services empower and support them so they can live fulfilled, independent lives.
Older People's Commissioner for Wales"
To view the Commisioners Casebook please copy the below link into your web browser
HOW TO AGE WELL
Once again we are most grayeful to receive another contribution from our member Mr. Stephen Bartley from the Older People’s Commissioner for Walesdepartment
They have published the document 'How to age Well' (Link below). The contents of which may be helpful to our colleagues and/or their families. If anyone wants a hard copy, they can contact Gareth Rees vai email and he will arrange it : Gareth.Rees@olderpeoplewales.com
To access the document please copy the below link into your web browser
BENEFITS FOR OLDER PEOPLE
We are always grateful for the contributions received from Mr Stephen Bartley and hopefully our members will find this item and its linked factsheet useful:
Sadly, many older people are missing out on extra money to which they are entitled to (this amounts to several billion pounds each year in the UK).
The main benefits and support relate to:
Pension Credit, Attendance Allowance, Carer’s Allowance, Bereavement Benefits/Allowances, Universal Credit, Winter Fuel Payment, Warm Home Discount, Welsh Government’s NEST Scheme, Welsh Water HelpU, Council Tax, Benefits in hospital and care homes, Telephone Bills and the Armed Forces Charity (SSAFA).
I have been able to access some of these benefits for an elderly relative which has made a significant positive impact on my relative’s situation.
I thought I would share with you a factsheet I have put together which contains information that might assist our members or their families. The factsheet provides useful information on all of these areas.
I would recommend for members and/or their families to contact their local Age Connect Office if they are unsure about their entitlements. They can provide appropriate advice/support.
Please feel free to share and hopefully those who are entitled will be able to reap the benefits.
LPA - PRICE DECREASE
Yes thats right a price decrease - and its from the Government !!!!!
The following information has been received via Mr Steve Bartley at Older People’s Commissioner for Wales
This is to advise you that legislation has now been passed reducing the registration fee for lasting powers of attorney (LPA) and enduring powers of attorney (EPA) from £110 to £82, with the fee for resubmission reducing from £55 to £41.
The new fee becomes effective on 1 April 2017.
This change doesn’t affect our current remissions and exemptions scheme for those who can’t afford the full fee.
More than two million LPAs have been registered since 2007 and numbers are increasing year on year. The volume of applications, together with efficiencies in the way they’re being processed, has driven down the cost of providing the service.
The new fee, which is the lowest it’s been since LPAs were introduced in 2007, also makes sure OPG can continue to deliver an accessible, modern and efficient service for all its customers.
How does this affect applications?
LPA/EPA applications paid for from 1 April 2017 onwards will be charged £82.
For those who recently submitted an LPA/EPA application with a payment of £110 that’s paid for after 1 April 2017, the difference will be refunded to the individual who made the payment.
For those who applied through a third party such as a solicitor, the solicitor will be notified and the payment will be returned to the person who paid the original registration fee. The money will go directly into that person's bank account.
We’d be grateful if you could share this information with your members and other interested parties, and apologise that due to a longer parliamentary process we’ve not been able to give you earlier confirmation of the fee change.
A news item has been published on GOV.UK about how these changes affect current LPA/EPA applications.
OPG communications team
Telephone - 0121 631 6568
GETTING HELP FROM SOCIAL SERVICES:
The following update has been received from Mr. Steve Bartley:
The Older People's Commissioner for Wales has published some information leaflets for people who need to get help from Social Services. There has been a great deal of new legislation introduced which some people may find to be difficult to understand and thus not seek the necessary assistance to which they are entitled. The information leaflets hopefully will help to explain things a lot easier.
I have provided a link below to the recent Newsletter the Older People's Commissioner which also includes a link to the leaflets. If anyone wants to receive a copy of the leaflets, they can ring the office on the telephone number indicated in the Newsletter and hard copies will be sent to them.
If anyone would like to receive a copy of the Newsletter (published quarterly) they can either ring the office or email:
Copies of the Newsletter can be sent to people via the post or by email.
Want to Increase the size of your Savings Pot
Perhaps you need a loan
Our member and and Older People's Commissioner for Wales representative Mr Steve Bartley has provided us with the following information which may be beneficial to you if your looking for a new home for your savings in these lean times.
He was at a police event in Gwent, where Number 1 Copperpot Credit Union staff were present.
They were telling me about their products, one of which is a savings account that offers 1.99% APR and you can put up to £500 per month into the account.
I think this is good as most regular saving accounts will only allow £250 pm. It is available to serving and retired officers that might be of interest to anyone looking to get the best return on their savings; especially with interest rates being so low. Further details can be found on their website
Please click on the link below to get direct access to their website
HELP WITH HEATING
Grateful thanks to Mr Steve Bartley for the information
I thought I would let you know about these two schemes which many people are not aware of.
1. Warm home discount scheme is for people who are on low incomes including those who receive pension credit etc. If they are eligible they can get a rebate of £140 off their utility bill. They need to contact their utility provider to confirm they participate in the scheme. If they do, they will provide details on how to apply for the rebate.
2. NEST is a Welsh Government funded scheme that helps people who are on low incomes and have inefficient heating, require improved insulation etc. This is available to people after they have answered some financial questions. If they are assessed as meeting the financial criteria a survey of their home is then carried out. This could result in having a replacement central heating boiler, insulation etc. More details about this scheme and about the Warm Homes Discount Scheme can be obtained by ringing 0808 808 2244. They are very helpful and could help people to save money on their energy costs.
I recently did this for a relative who qualified and had a new central heating boiler fitted for free.
It even applies to those who own their homes but are on low incomes. So it is worth making enquirers if you think it might apply to someone you know.