Improved health and longevity an opportunity – Ó Caoláin
Speaking ahead of the International Day for Older People, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Disability Rights and Older People, said that the growth in life expectancy in recent decades should be seen as an opportunity as well as a challenge and that our older people should be treated with dignity and respect in an Ireland of equals.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
“The International Day of Older Persons is observed on October 1 each year. The composition of the world population has changed dramatically in recent decades with life expectancy increasing at a rapid rate. We should see improved health and longevity as an opportunity as well as a challenge.
“The International Day of Older Persons is a very important day, one when we should all reflect on the contributions and sacrifices made by our older people. It is a day for us all to focus on what needs to be done to ensure that all of us can live longer lives in a society that treats its seniors with dignity, where they feel safe, and where they are equals. Unfortunately this has not and is not the case for many older people at present as they have borne the brunt of the cruellest of cuts over recent years.
“Sinn Féin is committed to putting an end to the struggles of our older people. We are committed to ending the trolley crisis in our hospitals and delivering a universal health care system. We will support our older citizens by ending water and property charges and delivering a dignified income.
“In the words of the Democratic Programme of the First Dáil Éireann, Sinn Féin are committed to the care and support of Ireland’s older people ‘who shall not be regarded as a burden, but rather entitled to the Nation’s gratitude and consideration’.”