Ageing well – with a little help from our friends!

Posted on: Tuesday 1 October 2019
over 50's forum

People are living longer and population projections have told us that the percentage of people aged 65 and over living in Torfaen is expected to rise from 20.1% in 2016 to 28.3% by 2039.

Today (01/10/2019), Blaenavon 50+ Forum and Pontypool Senior Active Support Forum have come together for a talk, meal and crafts session at Blaenavon Workmen’s Hall to mark International Day of Older Persons, celebrating living well into old age. 

Here in Torfaen we have three 50+ Forums. Meeting in Blaenavon, Pontypool and Cwmbran, each forum meets monthly to hear about the ever-evolving world of public services and our efforts to adapt to these kind of societal changes, helping Torfaen Council and other public service partners shape services so they work for everyone.

In recent months, guest speakers at 50+ Forum meetings have included representatives from Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Public Health Wales, Aneurin Bevan Community Health Council, Melin Homes, TCBC’s Social Care and Housing team, Gwent Police and charities including Friends of the Earth, Age Cymru and The Stroke Association.

The forums also play a vital role in tackling loneliness and social isolation, providing a welcoming place to have a cup of tea with friendly people and organising social trips. 

Older people should be seen as a vital part of society and should have opportunities to participate in and contribute to our economy and our communities. 

Executive Member for Adult Services & Housing, Councillor David Daniels said,“In light of International Day of Older Persons, we would like to take this opportunity to thank every 50+ Forum member for their continued support and the effort they make to represent the views of older people living in the borough.

There are many examples of how the voice of the forums are being heard and acted upon. This can range from input on Torfaen’s Local Toilets Strategy to the recent housing study produced by Aneurin Bevan Gwent Public Health Team on behalf of the Gwent Health, Social Care and Housing Partnership.

Cwmbran 50+ Forum’s involvement in the housing study has helped housing associations and other partners in Gwent better understand the wants and needs of older people when it comes to accommodation. We know that people can live well for longer in their own homes if they live in well-suited, appropriate accommodation that they can navigate safely, and that doing so reduces hospital visits and pressures on social care.”

Interested in joining a 50+ Forum? New members are welcome to attend forum meetings at the following times and locations:

  • Blaenavon 50+ Forum: First Tuesday of each month at Blaenavon Workmen’s Hall, 2.00-4.00pm
  • Pontypool Senior Active Support Forum: Second Wednesday of each month at Widdershins, Griffithstown, 1.00-3.00pm
  • Cwmbran 50+ Forum: Fourth Tuesday of each month at Cwmbran Library, 2.00-4.00pm

If you would like to be involved in helping us improve public services, but getting to meetings would be problematic, please be aware that people of all ages are encouraged to become a member of the Torfaen People’s Panel: https://getinvolved.torfaen.gov.uk/communications/copy-of-tpp/

In addition to listening to speakers and asking questions, 50+ Forum members regularly respond to surveys and consultations, as well as talking to Council staff, who attend regularly, about their experiences of living in Torfaen. You can view surveys and consultations by visiting: https://getinvolved.torfaen.gov.uk/

To find out more about the International Day of Older Persons, please visit:  https://www.un.org/development/desa/ageing/international-day-of-older-persons-homepage.html

For more information, please contact Steven Honeywill, Partnerships and Policy Officer at TCBC at steven.honeywill@torfaen.gov.uk / 01495 766958.

Last Modified: 01/10/2019 Back to top