AGEISM needs to be made a thing of the past in Clare, according to Sinn Féin Councillor Mike McKee.
“The recently published Census 2016 showed a huge and rapid rise in the number of people aged over 65 years in Clare.
Since 2011, there has been an increase of 19% of people aged over 65 and a 13% increase in the number of people aged over 85. This poses great challenges but Sinn Féín believe that we should see improved health and longevity as an opportunity, as well as a challenge, celebrating the contribution older people make to our communities in Clare.
“Negative societal perceptions of our older people are a massive obstacle. Our older people are a valuable resource, not a burden. As active citizens, older people contribute massively to local communities in Clare and their participation in the voluntary sector enhances and enriches life for people of all ages, while contributing to services of social and economic value. Ageism needs to be made a thing of the past.”
He identified issues that are of particular concern.
“Sinn Féin has identified the provision of home-care supports as a major challenge facing us as the population in Clare. Even at present the provision of home-care is totally inadequate. Older people should have the right to live in their own homes for as long as it is safe for them to do so. Increased investment in home-help hours and home-care packages is vital.
“The sustainability of our pension system is also one of the greatest challenges we face. As a direct result of so-called ‘pension reforms’ implemented in 2012, a number of flaws have since emerged. These ‘pension reforms’ continue to have a detrimental effect on older people. Our pension system needs urgent attention. Without a proper roadmap detailing how we are to sustain the State pension, these flaws will only multiply.”
By Owen Ryan