The West Midlands Later Life Forum is one of nine regional Forums on Ageing in England. “West Midlands” in this case refers to and includes the counties of Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and West Midlands.
All nine English regional Forums were originally set up following the implementation of recommendations made in the Elbourne Review (November 2008) and, more specifically, the government's response to those recommendations as contained in the Department of Work and Pensions' publication, “Empowering Engagement: A Stronger Voice for Older People” (February 2009).
The DWP publication identifies expressly that the stated aim of the Forums and the networks of older people's groups and age-sector organisations with which they have contact "is to bring about a more effective dialogue about the services and policies which most affect wellbeing in later life." Overall, and since the establishment of the regional Forums and the agendas they have pursued, the over-arching aim has centred on better promoting improvements in the independence and in the health and well-being of older people, and in society’s (including the government's) perceptions of the ageing process.
Although funded and supported by the Department for Work and Pensions, the membership constitution of each of the English Forums ensures they are both independent of and are in no way the mouthpiece of either local or central government.
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