Capturing the lived experience of growing older
Our advocacy and policy work is grounded in the lived experience of growing older in Ireland people.
We consult with our members on specific policy issues throughout the year via a number of different methods including regional members meetings, the distribution of surveys, contacts to our information line and through our network of older people.
To inform the development of our budget submission and to identify what priorities we should put to the government, we hold regional meetings with our members across the country. These meetings give our members the opportunity to highlight what income and supports are of most important to them and how they can be improved for the wider population of older people.
Distribution of Surveys
We often conduct national surveys to understand older people’s experiences of specific issues. Some recent examples of this include:
- In 2015 we conducted a survey of our members and other older people about the issue of financial abuse as part of a project we undertook with Ulster Bank on this important issue.
- We are currently completing a survey of older people’s experience of utility service providers (such as electricity, banks, telephone etc.).
Contacts to our information service
Each year over 2,500 people contact our information service about a wide range of issues that affect them and their families. The information service identifies trends in the issues raised and communicates this with our policy and advocacy team.
For example, in February 2017 we published research to highlight the impact of changes introduced in 2012 to the eligibility criteria for the State Pension (Contributory).
Glor is the Irish word for voice and the Age Action Glor groups were set up to enable older people to make their voices heard amongst decision makers. The groups meet on a monthly basis in Dublin, Cork and Galway to discuss the issues impacting on older people in their community.
Examples of work undertaken by the Glor groups include:
- Each year the Cork Glor group arranges to meet with local TDs around the Budget and in the run up to elections to highlight the issues of importance to older people.
- In October 2015 the Galway Glor group published research they conducted on the experiences of older people accessing outpatient services in the Age Action West region.
- The Dublin Glor group assist with queries from the media each year around budget time.
In 2017 we are expanding the work of our Glor groups to Charleville in Co Cork and Castlebar in Co Mayo.