[caption id="attachment_4827" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Older People's Commissioner for Wales Ruth Marks Older People's Commissioner for Wales Ruth Marks[/caption]

The concerns of older people living in rural areas of Wales will come under the spotlight next week at the Farmers' Union of Wales pavilion alongside the main ring at the Royal Welsh Show in Builth Wells (July 19-22).

Older People's Commissioner for Wales Ruth Marks will spend 90 minutes on the stand on Wednesday July 21 (from 9.30am to 11am) meeting older people from around the country and hearing about the issues affecting them.

"I want to work in partnership with the FUW to learn more about the issues affecting older people living in rural areas around Wales," she said.

"People raise many concerns with us including the lack of transport - especially in relation to travelling to hospitals or visiting relatives in care homes - problems accessing services, problems with broadband internet access and lack of choice of domiciliary care services.

"I am also aware that older people have concerns about rural isolation, which is a major issue affecting individuals across the country.

"The Big Lottery Fund has recently launched the AdvantAGE programme, making £20m available for projects across Wales working with people over 50, specialising in advocacy and befriending services.

"It is important that older people live full and active lives and have access to relevant information and services. As Commissioner, I support the aims of the programme and feel it is a step forward in improving the quality of life for older people in Wales."

Her Commission has developed a partnership with The Pension Service to highlight the importance of older people claiming the financial benefits they are entitled to.

Pension Service representative Ken Davies will be available at the FUW pavilion throughout Tuesday and Wednesday (July 20 and 21) and Llandysul community pharmacist Richard Evans will be at the pavilion on Monday offering lifestyle health checks.

"Claiming the benefits you are entitled to can mean being able to afford a healthier lifestyle through better nutrition as well as having more money to get out and about and access facilities and activities," said Mrs Marks.

"I am grateful to everyone who has contacted me to tell me about their concerns and examples of good practice. It is through listening to and learning from older people that we have been able to root all our work in what matters most to them."