Safeguarding legislation needed to protect older people

Seán Sherlock TD
21 June 2023

Speaking on the motion on Home Care and Support Services in the Dáil today, Labour Cork East TD Seán Sherlock called for safeguarding legislation to protect older people to be implemented.

Deputy Sherlock said:

“I was struck by the reporting of Ailbhe Conneely on Morning Ireland this morning into the very distressing ‘Emily’ case. It is abundantly clear that there is an absolute overdue and dure need for legislation to protect older people.

“As the report outlined, none of the distressing incidents reported to staff in the home were followed up on in accordance with HSE safeguarding policy.

“It is deeply concerning and it speaks to the lack of safeguarding legislation in relation to safeguarding policy for older people. This must be introduced without delay and there are a number of models that could be considered to bring in such mechanisms without delay.

“For example, the Law Reform Commission produced a in on this, and Labour proposed safeguarding legislation in the Seanad in 2017.

“Similar to the way in which we have robust legislation that safeguards children, we must ensure that older people are cared for and properly protected.

“The population aged 65 years and older will continue to rise steadily and will increase by more than 50% by 2051. That presents all of us with a clear challenge in relation to how care for older people will be carried out today and into the future.

“We must continue to engage with organisations like Family Carers’ Ireland and reports that they issue because they’re at the coalface now and are in tune with the challenges that face older people.”

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