Minister Kathleen Lynch launches the National Positive Ageing Strategy
Ms Kathleen Lynch, T.D., Minister of State for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People today (Wednesday, 24th April 2013) launched the National Positive Ageing Strategy.
By 2041, it is projected that there will be an estimated 1.3 million to 1.4 million people aged over 65 years in Ireland, representing 20-25 per cent of the total population. A population with between 1 in 5 and 1 in 4 people over the age of 65 years in the future will have significant social and economic implications at an individual, family and societal level.
There is no doubt that this will pose challenges but it will also bring many opportunities as older people continue to make a major contribution in society as consumers, workers, mentors, caregivers, child-minders and as volunteers.
The Government believes that the challenges can be met and opportunities exploited by planning now to ensure that Irish society is an ‘age-friendly’ one in the years ahead.
This National Positive Ageing Strategy provides the blueprint for this planning – for what we can and must do – individually and collectively – to make Ireland a good country in which to grow older. At its core, this National Positive Ageing Strategy seeks to create a shift in mind-set in how we conceptualise ageing and what needs to be done to promote positive ageing.
In the past, policy relating to older people tended to deal almost exclusively with health and social care issues. This Strategy seeks to highlight that ageing is not just a health issue – it requires a whole of Government response to address a range of interconnected social, economic and environmental factors that affect health and wellbeing. In addressing the broader determinants of health across the administrative spectrum, the National Positive Ageing Strategy is a new departure in policy-making for ageing in Ireland.
The Strategy also highlights that ageing is a lifelong process that does not start at 65 years of age – the choices that we make when young and middle aged will determine how healthy we will be in our old age.
Welcoming the publication of the National Positive Ageing Strategy, Minister Lynch stated that “Positive ageing is in everyone’s interests and this Strategy provides an important and timely opportunity for Ireland to formally recognise, at a national level, the need for all sectors of society to plan properly for individual and population ageing in Ireland – it is of relevance to everyone in Ireland, no matter what age he or she may be”.
She went on to say that the Strategy is a call to action to Government Departments, other statutory agencies at a national and local level and the community, voluntary and private sectors to ‘start now’ and to take their lead from the strategic direction laid down in the National Positive Ageing Strategy to ensure that older people are, in the words of the Programme for Government commitment, ‘recognised, supported and enabled to live independent full lives’.
The National Positive Ageing Strategy will be publicly available on the Department of Health’s website, Here