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ESRI report ignores shortage of housing for older people

Published 08/03/2016

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Age Action has criticised this morning’s report from the ESRI examining the suggestion that older people should be incentivised to move out of their homes. The organisation said the report ignores the lack of housing options available for many older people.

Justin Moran, Head of Advocacy and Communications at Age Action, said: “Today’s report from the ESRI on incentivising older people to move out of their homes seems to ignore the lack of choice faced by many older people.

“Successive Irish governments have failed to plan for our ageing population. The National Positive Ageing Strategy, which highlighted housing as a key priority, has been sitting on a shelf without an implementation plan for almost three years now.

“There is an enormous lack of step-down and sheltered housing options for older people in Ireland compared to what is available to our European neighbours.

“If we are serious about providing housing for people in later life we need to be building more sheltered housing communities, providing the kind of places where people are able to age with dignity and with the supports they need."

Age Action also highlighted the social challenges many older people face when downsizing.

Justin Moran: “Many older people struggle with loneliness and social exclusion. They don’t want to move out of homes where they know their neighbours, where they are close to family.

“There is an enormous sense of security, particularly for someone living alone, in knowing you have friends and neighbours nearby to check in and make sure you are okay.

“Moving away from those community supports is simply not something many older people are able to do.”

The organisation also questioned whether the impact of the proposal would be as positive as has been suggested.

Justin Moran continued: “An older person selling their home and seeking to downsize is going to be competing against first-time buyers looking for their starter homes.

“The very people this initiative is designed to help could find themselves priced out of the market.”

For more information contact Justin Moran on 087 968 2449.

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Input into the Nursing Home Expert Panel on perspectives and experiences in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic

(17 June) The Alliance of Age Sector NGOs, represented by Age Action, is meeting with the Nursing Home Expert Panel to communicate perspectives and experiences in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on nursing homes, with a particular focus on planning the further responses to nursing homes’ needs over the next 18 months.  National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), chaired by the Government’s Chief Medical Officer, was established in January. It has been providing direction, guidance, support and expert advice on the development and implementation of Ireland’s strategic response to the pandemic. The Panel is due to report to the Minister for Health by end June 2020 and is has undertaken a public consultation details of which are available here.