The care needs of people in nursing homes  are complex, requiring sophisticated inputs including expert leadership, expertise in nursing older people, training in nursing home medicine, infection control, regimes of care and palliative care to mention but a few. Photograph: Getty Images

No clear direction or strategy has been given by Department of Health

‘What is most disheartening is that the obvious solution is off the table largely due to the effective freezing or severe rationing of homecare packages in some areas for those who require this service due to their disabilities.’

The media and public need to redirect their outrage over hospital overcrowding

The focus of the Sage submission on legislative measures may deflect attention from the multiplicity of changes needed to minimise or eliminate unnecessary deprivation of liberty

Division and parsing of human suffering by age and condition can be a hazard of advocacy

A Hungarian obstetrician  discovered the importance of hand-washing in preventing puerperal sepsis, a major cause of maternal mortality

The Hapsburg empire was a powerhouse of industry, science and technology, third in the world at the time only to the US and German(...)

Even worse in terms of fostering ageism against our future selves is the diffusion of the sense of older people blocking access to housing for the homeless, a process we have already seen for “bed-blockers” and “delayed discharges”. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Pressure on nursing home residents to rent their homes is impractical and unfair

Many Irish nursing homes are investing  in electronic case records but  it is essential that these are interRAI compatible.

Development of electronic patient record will be a huge aid in new era of telemedicine

Brevity is indeed the soul of wit in an effective tweet. Photograph: Reuters/Dado Ruvic

Twitter is a powerful tool for sharing experiences of ageing and techniques for enhancing the longevity dividend

Liam Neeson (then 64) in Martin Scorsese’s 2016 film Silence. Scorsese is 74. It is bizarre to   still refer  to people over 65 as “dependent”.

Many are cemented to old-fashioned mindsets on ageing, unable to respond to its new realities

The 2017 Women’s Mini Marathon, sponsored by the VHI: “While the VHI is not perfect, it remains a not-for-profit entity.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

We must open our eyes to the vulture culture of the for-profit health insurance market

‘I am  troubled as a columnist at the degree to which casual ageism is tolerated in newspapers and the media’

While huge sensitivity is taken with terminology relating to race and gender preference, it remains open season for attitudes and (...)

Justice Mary Laffoy, chair of the Citizen’s Assembly: In the health arena, the assembly should eliminate ageism in standard services..  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The danger is the Citizen's Assembly will replicate or amplify negative attitudes towards the complex subject of ageing

Empathy – the act of feeling what you believe other people feel – may cloud our moral reasoning. Photograph: iStock

Empathy sways us towards the needs of the one rather than the many

Proinnsias O’Duinn conducts Our Lady’s Choral Society’s 21st annual performance of ‘Messiah on the Street’ on Fishamble Street, Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

Both are part of a grand tradition of musical performance to raise funds for healthcare and the needy

The old Meath Hospital site before the move out to Tallagh

We should avoid self-congratulation and reflect as to whether we give due recognition to our own conflicts of interest

Up to recently, Irish doctors and other health professionals had no effective guidelines or training in assessing medical fitness to drive

National Office for Traffic Medicine aims to provide guidelines for safer driving

The persistence of romantic love in long-term relationships is, unsurprisingly, associated with higher levels of relationship satisfaction. Photograph: iStock

We need to open up to the significance of love and sexuality in later life

Privatisation of community care has been underway for some time with the contracting out of Home Care Packages to private agencies

We need care for age-related conditions on same basis as for cancer and cardiac disease

Studies from psychology provide  the concept of False Hope Syndrome, characterised by unrealistic expectations about the likely speed, amount, ease, and consequences of self-change attempts

Our capacity for self-deception has led the authors of one book to describe our intentions as ‘New Year Res-illusions’

“That all four grandparents had dementia mattered not a whit to us as children.”

A disproportionate emphasis on cognitive function robs our ethical system of a basic equality

 Prof Barry O’Donnell  caused a furore by stating that, should he be in a car accident outside certain county hospitals, he would advise the ambulance driver to drive on to a major urban hospital. Photograph: Brendan Lyon/ImageBureau

Loyalty to one’s hospital has acted as a brake on speaking out about service reorganisation

Older people, and us who are the future older people, were fooled the first time around with the so-called Fair Deal. Photograph: iStock

Our eligibility for healthcare is being diminished on a repeated basis

A portrait of the late Brian Friel. the MacGill Summer School has the influences of art and literature mixed through  political talk. Photograph:  Bobbie Hanvey

Politicians won’t prioritise ageing if we don’t, panel hears at MacGill Summer School

Home care packages in much of the Irish health system have effectively been frozen since just after the election in March.

We need services that enhance the life of those living with memory problems

Leas Cross Nursing Home, in Swords, Co Dublin: since the scandal at Leas Cross over a decade ago, it is encouraging to report on new horizons, as evidenced by two major conferences in Dublin this week. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Two Dublin conferences bring together the elements of the care systems dealing with older people

Medical students need to listen to many normal chests and tap many healthy knee reflexes to know what is the norm

The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra who reconceptualised Mozart, in Dublin recently.

Like a musician seeking authenticity, the treating doctor needs to listen carefully

Flawed as it may be, the public system has developed formal strategies to anticipate the needs of older people.

Second opinion: The healthcare system should reflect needs of older people and children

Leo Varadkar outside Portlaoise hospital where ceasing 24/7 emergency cover was recommended. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Second Opinion: The rise in the number of Independents and small parties is likely to paralyse further any attempt at building a h(...)

Kevin Molloy, John Walsh and Mai Quaid at the Earn Our Vote launch; they hope older voters’ concerns will be on the agenda. Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Irish research on ageing is getting the prominence it deserves overseas

Carrie Fisher: her portrayal of Princess Leia reflects a victory over her struggles in real life. Photograph: Paul Hackett/Reuters

The ageing of cast members since the first ‘Star Wars’ film allow us compare and contrast our experiences over the same period

The Oslo Opera House: home to geriatricians who hosted the 2015 European Union Geriatric Medicine Society congress.

There is a growing interest in cultural gerontology, an evolving field of inquiry into the social, philosophical and humanistic co(...)

The WHO report reminds us that that old age is not a synonymous with dependence, either physical or economic. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

‘World Report on Ageing and Health’ establishes concept of longevity dividend, says Des O’Neill

In this beautifully illustrated new history of an institution known for most of its existence as the King’s and Queen’s College of Physicians in Ireland, Alf McCreary relates how this bastion of king and country went into a Cinderella-like state of suspended animation for four decades after the founding of the State but is now emerging as a potent force in not only Irish and international healthcare but also in preserving a critical aspect of our heritage

Healing Touch’s author deftly navigates how religion and politics affected the college without detracting from the vibrant story o(...)

Where would you like to live when you get older? It’s time to think and talk about it

One study showed that those who do not take vacations are more likely to be older and poorer, and did not show the gains in health and wellbeing of those taking a holiday. Photograph: Thinkstock

We need to spare a thought for those who, through disability and poverty, cannot get a break from everyday life

‘Priorities should  turn to engagement with users of the services (the proposed Working Group makes no mention of them) . . .’ Photograph: Getty Images

‘A part of this delusion is a simplistic and ageist assumption that nursing home care is almost some form of lifestyle choice, wit(...)

Older people may harbour ageist attitudes about specialist services for older people. Photograph: iStockphoto

A form of combined care will need to become the new standard of care

Alice (Julianne Moore) and her daughter (Kristen Stewart) are united by love and shared vulnerability in ‘Still Alice’.

We need to move the subjective experience of the person with the disease more firmly centre stage, says Des O’Neill

Most of us have the opportunity for a longer and richer relationship with parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Photograph: Thinkstock

Once we start talking about older people in society, the discourse quickly assumes gloomy apocalyptic tones of burden

Society must become less gerontologically illiterate if old people are to get proper care, says Des O’Neill

‘Thirty to 40 per cent of older people will suffer a further loss of function while in hospital.’  Photograph: Thinskstock Images

There is a significant shortage of appropriate geriatric rehabilitation units in the country, says Prof Des O’Neill

One of the good things about the Irish health system is that the HSE has accepted that a significant proportion of the physicians working in acute medical units should be geriatricians, given that older people are a key client group for medical services. Photograph: Thinkstock

Reshuffle of Cabinet has been good for healthcare and move by this specialist into temporary acute care position at Tallaght hospi(...)

Most of us will live beyond 65, and about one in 10 of us will be affected by dementia. Photograph: Thinkstock

The fear and dread of losing our memory can make the experience of the disease worse than it needs to be

Ireland’s healthcare system has much to learn from the Stafford Hospital scandal

Limiting access adds savour to most sensory experiences, a sentiment captured by Patrick Kavanagh in his poem Advent: “through…

SECOND OPINION: Two recent movies underline how ageing has become mainstream in popular culture

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