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Free Personnel care - Older People Need dignity

29 May, 2007


Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Older People, Newry Armagh MLA Mickey Brady has said that older people require dignity and security in the way in which their long-term care needs are met.

Speaking in the Assembly today Mr Brady said:

"The implementation of free personal care for older people has to be supported. The challenges presented by an ageing population impact on all aspects of society.

"By 2040 the population of people over 60 here will double. There will be a 57% increase in the over 75 population.

"In the provision and implementation of free personal care for the elderly we need to get it right at political and policy making level. We need to listen to what older people are saying and be pro-active in addressing their needs, concerns and aspirations.

"Older people require dignity and security in the way in which their long-term care needs are met. In relation to personal care older people's views, needs and aspirations must be fully taken into account and personal care both in the residential situation and in the home must be provided free at the point of delivery.

"The costs of good quality long-term care are very high and most people cannot afford to meet them. For the majority of older people the inability to pay is out of their control and outside their means.

"Most care for older people is provided by unpaid carers and of them are unaware of their entitlement to a carer's assessment which can improve the help they get and give." ENDS

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