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How we best respond to challenges and opportunities of an ageing population – Sinn Féin Submission to Citizen’s Assembly – Ó Caoláin

19 May, 2017 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Older People, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has today (Friday 19th) published his party’s submission to the Citizens’ Assembly on ‘How we best respond to challenges and opportunities of an ageing population’.

Teachta Ó Caoláin said:

“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% of people aged over 65 and a 15.5% increase in the number of people aged over 85. This poses great challenges but Sinn Féin believe that we should see improved health and longevity as an opportunity as well as a challenge, celebrating and enabling the contribution older people make to our communities.

“Negative societal perceptions of our older people are a massive obstacle. Our older people are a valuable resource, not a burden. As active citizens, older people contribute massively to their local communities and their participation in the voluntary sector enhances and enriches life for people of all ages, while contributing to services of social and economic value. Ageism needs to be made a thing of the past.

“We have identified the provision of homecare supports as a major challenge facing us as our population ages. Even at present the provision is totally inadequate. Older people should have the right to live in their own homes for as long as it is safe for them to do so.  Increased investment in home help hours and home-care packages is imperative.

“The sustainability of our pension system is one of the greatest challenges we face. As a direct result of so-called ‘pension reforms’ implemented by Fine Gael in 2012, a number of flaws have been highlighted. These changes continue to have a detrimental impact on older people.   Our pension system needs urgent attention. Without a proper roadmap detailing, how we are to sustain the State Pension, the issues already there will multiply.

“There is no doubt but that there is a real sense of urgency in relation to all that presents as our population ages. It is high time that the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population in Ireland were addressed and I wish the Citizen’s Assembly well in their work.” ENDS

Note: Please see attached the Sinn Féin proposal 

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