Government failing to care for older people
Labour’s Health Spokesperson Duncan Smith TD today condemned Government’s failure to prioritise the well-being of older people, highlighting the Government focus on the privatisation of long-term residential care and home care.
Deputy Smith said
“The government agenda for divestment over investment in long-term care is a blatant disregard for our older citizens. Older people deserve proper care, support, and the ability to live a happy, fulfilled life. It’s time for a change in approach.
“Government is ignoring the unequivocal desires of people to age in their own homes, as revealed by numerous surveys. We urgently need Government to listen and champion policies that empower individuals to receive necessary support for independent living.
“We were deeply concerned following the ESRI Report this month that said 15 large private groups now control 38 per cent of the almost 32,000 nursing home beds in the country. The ESRI report concluded that it is vital, as the needs of an ageing population grow and evolve, that policies “harmonise financial incentives” for nursing home operators with residents’ needs. Government must heed this warning.
“The State must prioritise the well-being of our older people. These individuals have contributed their entire lives to our society and deserve proper care as they age. Investing in our care workers is an investment in our community’s well-being.
“While the long-awaited Commission on Care, promised in the 2020 government program, has finally begun working, it is disappointing that it has taken this long. Labour has called for the appointment and resourcing of a Commissioner for Older People and Aging to address the urgent needs of our older citizens.
“We need the State to invest in the well-being of our older people, prioritise their proper care, and recognise that supporting our care workers is an essential investment in our community’s overall health and prosperity.”