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Ageing support is a human right – Ó Caoláin

18 January, 2017 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Commenting following the announcement by the Department of Health of a ‘public consultation’ on the issues around home care for the elderly, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, Sinn Féin spokesperson for older people, said that while he welcomed this initiative, it was deplorable that the Government had waited this long to address the severe lack of homecare supports for our older people.

The Cavan-Monaghan TD said:

“Such an initiative has been a long time coming. While I, of course, welcome Minister McEntee’s announcement, this has been a need that the Government has been acutely aware of for several years. Each and every one of us has someone in our family, or knows of someone, who has been impacted by the wholly inadequate resources that have been made available for our elderly loved ones.

“The vast majority of older people prefer to live out their lives in their own homes, if at all possible. Government policy has supposedly been oriented in this direction, but it has failed in practice. Cuts to home help hours, home care packages, the housing adaptation grant, carers’ supports, and other services, have resulted in more people than necessary going into long-term residential care.

“Sinn Féin is committed to the provision of healthcare services and social care services as a human right, with equal access for all based on need and to the greatest extent that resources allow. This right is especially relevant for older people and the provision of support for older people is becoming increasingly important as our population ages.

“The fact of the matter is that people should have the right to choose how best they will be supported as they age.

“I look forward to engaging with Minister McEntee on this very important issue.” 

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