Alliance calls for action on ageing


A group representing older people has said political candidates need to address five specific issues if they are to win votes in this age group.

Older and Bolder, an alliance of eight non-governmental organisations in the age sector, say fairer health care, secure pensions, improved local transport, greater involvement for older citizens and the long-overdue delivery of the country’s national positive ageing strategy are priorities that need to be tackled.

Director Patricia Conboy said policy choices made in the next few years “would shape the kind of country we're going to rebuild and will also define the kind of people we are in 2011 and beyond".

She said access to health and social care is too often affected by factors such as age, availability of insurance, medical card status and  location. “Older and Bolder believes there is a real need for wise investment in a broader, joined-up system of care, one that spans health promotion, disease prevention, home care, community care, dementia supports and mental health services right through to quality end-of-life care."

She called on the next government to offer a firm guarantee to protect the State pension and other essential supports like household benefits package from direct or indirect cuts, such as the new universal social charge.

Ms Conboy said she would be encouraging people of all ages to put these issues to candidates or canvassers from all parties.