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Home care cuts must be on the agenda of Government talks

Published 30/03/2016

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Following reports that there is no funding for home care packages in many parts of Dublin, forcing older people to stay in hospitals, Age Action has said care supports must be on the agenda of talks around forming the next Government.

Justin Moran, Head of Advocacy and Communications at Age Action, said: “We need immediate and substantial investment in home care and other supports but that is just a temporary solution. 

“Without a statutory right to community care the number of older people forced to stay in hospital longer than they need to will only rise. 

“The next Programme for Government should include a commitment to introduce a statutory right to community care and to fully implement the National Positive Ageing Strategy.”
Launch of the Age Action General Election manifesto
A right to community care was a key demand of the Age Action election manifesto.

HSE warning

The HSE warned last year that they were facing increasing challenges in providing care supports.

Mr Moran continued: “The HSE warned in its service plan for 2016 that services like home care, home help and nursing home beds cannot keep pace with rising demand and our ageing population.

“There are a million fewer home help hours available in Ireland today than there were ten years ago in 2006. 

“In advance of the General Election every political party told us they were committed to supporting older people to stay at home as long as possible. 

“The best way they can prove that is to ensure that how we provide long-term care for older people in Ireland is addressed in the negotiations going on at the moment around the formation of the next Government.”

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STOP67 calls for inclusion of advocates for women and older people on Pensions Commission

(13 November) The STOP67 Coalition has expressed its disappointment at the failure of the Government to appoint sufficient members to the Pensions Commission who reflect the interests of those most affected by the proposed pension age increase and, in particular, organisations representing women and older people. The Coalition includes the National Women’s Council (NWC), SIPTU, Age Action and Active Retirement Ireland.

In a letter to An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, the Coalition said it was “shocked and surprised” that the Commission does not include the representatives of so many of those directly affected by the proposed pension age increase. This followed the announcement by the Government of the members of the Commission, which is due to assess whether the pension age should be increased to 67 years and to set out a future plan for the pension system.