Elderly incomes down 6% weekly
The average weekly incomes of elderly people fell by 6 per cent - or €25.63 - between 2009 and 2010, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office.
In 2009, the average weekly income of an elderly person – those aged over 65 – was €428.86, which fell to €403.23 in 2010.
This reversed an upward trend from 2004 when average weekly income was €289.06, according to the findings in a CSO thematic report on the elderly for the three years 2004, 2009 and 2010.
The Survey on Income and Living Conditions also reported the proportion of income coming from social transfers or welfare payments increased by almost 7 per cent from 56.8 per cent in 2004 to 63.4 per cent in 2010.
Earnings fell as a proportion of average income from 24.1 per cent in 2004 to 18.3 per cent in 2009 and to 12.7 per cent in 2010.
The report also noted the “at risk of poverty” rate for the elderly in 2010 was 9.6 per cent, the same as the previous year and a significant reduction compared to 2004 when those at risk of poverty represented 27.1 per cent of the elderly population.
Those in “enforced deprivation” - at 9.3 per cent of those over 65 - showed no significant change in 2010 from 2009 or 2004.
Enforced deprivation is defined as living in a household deprived of two or more of 11 indicators, which include having to go without heat during the last year because of lack of money; not having two pairs of strong shoes; and in terms of nutrition, not having a roast joint or its equivalent at least once a week.
The 22-page report said “in general, elderly people tend to experience lower levels of enforced deprivation than other groups in society”.
The report’s figures show almost 55 per cent of the elderly in 2010 were female. Just over 7 per cent were still working while just under 7 per cent had third level qualifications or higher.
Almost 56 per cent of those surveyed were married, almost 88 per cent lived in their own home and more than one third lived alone. A majority, almost 55 per cent, lived in an urban area in 2010.
In that year, almost 56 per cent of the elderly said they suffered from a chronic illness while almost 7 per cent said they had bad or very bad health.
Just over 43 per cent had private medical insurance in 2010 compared to 33.5 per cent six years earlier.