Today, October 1, is International Day of Older People and ALONE is highlighting the fact that one in five Irish older people live in deprivation.
CEO of ALONE, Sean Moynihan said, “International Day of Older People is a time for older persons to celebrate the positive things in their life, to rejoice in their family, to celebrate their friends and to enjoy the rewards that they have earned through many years hard work.
“In ALONE, while we do celebrate these positives, every day we are in contact with people who are within the 20% of Irish older people that are at risk of poverty or living in deprivation. There is an unacceptable amount of older people within society with very little to celebrate and who are living without a range of basic human rights.”
Mr Moynihan noted that instead of becoming a more age – friendly country, Ireland’s number of older people, who are marginalised or deprived, has actually increased from 1 in 10 in 2009, to 1 in 5 in 2012, according to CSO figures. 74,520 Irish people over the age of 65 are suffering enforced deprivation and of these 14,100 of them are also ‘at risk of poverty’.
“This Government has consistently introduced cuts that adversely affect the most vulnerable in society; home help hours have been reduced, prescription charges have been introduced, the property tax has been brought in, it is harder to qualify for the drugs payment scheme and now they have introduced water charges. As well as this, rental prices have increased dramatically and yet, there has been no increase to the state pension despite the fact that some older people receive a state pension, which puts them below the poverty threshold,” Mr Moynihan said.
ALONE can be contacted on (01) 679 1032 for those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community or visit www.alone.ie