These are extremely difficult times for the Irish people, especially its older people. The lives of many older people are plagued by fear and anxiety, as a result of the uncertainty created by the financial crisis. People live in “constant threat” of poverty and ill health in retirement after a working life of honest and honourable work. Older carers, and carers of older people speak of heavy workloads and ever decreasing supports to assist them. Older people living alone speak about the struggle to stay warm by going to bed early with an array of water bottles, hats, scarves and coats, and with the worry of how they will survive the approaching winter.
This submission highlights some of these age-specific concerns. It presents the evidence around five key issues: income; energy poverty; health; transport; and employment. We appeal to the Government to consider these points, and to be age-aware, rather than ageblind.
We specifically recommend:
- At least maintaining welfare levels at their current rate;
- Making provision for those experiencing energy poverty;
- Ensuring funding for essential community services.