The restrictions brought in as a result of the coronavirus pandemic have been particularly hard on older people, many of whom have been separated from their loved ones and cut off from vital support networks. With restrictions likely to remain in place for a number of weeks at least, the Welsh Government's deputy minister for health and social services Julie Morgan has penned a special message to the older people of Wales:

I KNOW this is a very challenging time for older people in our communities.

All of us who are over 70 have been advised to be particularly stringent in following the guidelines on social distancing, as our age group is at risk to the effects of coronavirus.

If you are shielding, because you have a specific health condition, which makes you extremely vulnerable to serious illness if exposed to coronavirus, then you will have been asked to take some very strict measures by the Chief Medical Officer for Wales to reduce your risk of being exposed to the virus.


The advice to all of us who are over 70, limits our normal day-to-day social contacts.

I know this is very difficult, and being separated from family, loved ones and friends is hard. I’m also very aware that many of you will also have concerns about the future and the role of older people in society as restrictions are eased.

For the first time many of us are accepting help from our local communities. I hope these new relationships will be sustained for years to come and help to build mutual respect and solidarity between generations.

Older people are carers, volunteers, employees, tax payers and valued friends and community members. I am determined to tackle ageism by acknowledging and valuing the contribution of older people to our society. Age does not diminish an individual’s right to be treated with dignity and respect.

Over the next weeks and months I will be working on the Welsh Government’s Strategy for an Ageing society, preparing it to go out to consultation. I want to ensure that, through this, the voice and interests of older people in Wales is heard and considered in all aspects of Welsh Government policy.

This approach will be even more important as we move towards the easing of restrictions. I want to make sure that older people have a voice in the decisions which affect them.

It is vital that we work together create a more equal society that upholds human rights and enables people of all ages to fulfil their potential no matter what their background or circumstance.