Celebrate and Support Older People – Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD
This Sunday October 1st marks International Day of Older Persons. Sinn Féin spokesperson for Older Persons, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin T.D., has said that this UN designated day is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of older people to society and to encourage, indeed ensure, that the conditions are there to facilitate the active participation of our older citizens in all aspects of life.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said;
“The theme for this year’s International Day of Older Persons is 'Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society.' This is a particularly relevant theme when you consider the fact that the world population is ageing.
"The recently published Census 2016 showed a huge and rapid rise in the number of people aged over 65 in Ireland. Since 2011 there has been an increase of 19.1% in people aged over 65. In addition, and equally significant, is that there has been a 15.5% increase in the number of people aged over 85.
"Sinn Féin believes that we should see improved health and longevity as an opportunity as well as a challenge, celebrating and enabling the contribution made by older people to our communities.
“The provision of homecare services, or very sadly the lack of, for our elderly is a massive issue. The vast majority of people wish to remain and to be cared for in their own homes. Unfortunately, Government policy is not structured in a way to allow this happen, with an over-emphasis on nursing homes as the solution to providing long-term care for older people.
"As part of our alternative Budget for 2018 Sinn Féin has put forward costed proposals that would see home help hours increase by 20% with 2.1 million additional home help hours.
"We also propose to increase home care packages by 15% which would mean 2,485 extra home care packages. Our older people deserve such measures and Sinn Féin is on their side.
"I encourage Government to ensure that they invest significantly in our older citizens hopes and needs in Budget 2018”