Press Release

Minister Callely launches the Progress Report of the Inter-Departmental Group on the Needs of Older People

Mr Ivor Callely T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, with special responsibility for Services for Older People, today, (28 April 2004) launched the progress report of the Inter-Departmental Group on the Needs of Older People.

Minister Callely explained that the work done and services provided by many agencies and Departments impact on the lives of older people, and for this reason he set up the Inter-Departmental Group in July 2002.

The Group is taking a cross-cutting approach to its work, with members expected to speak with authority on behalf of their Departments and have influence on their Department’s policy in relation to services for older people.

The Group´s initial focus has been on what is being done at present, with a view to bringing better co-ordination and integration between Departments and the various agencies, in those areas.

To date there have been contributions to the Group, by a number of Government Departments, statutory agencies, voluntary bodies, health boards and local authorities.

The Minister spoke of the importance of the existence of the Group, which can help generate a positive attitude to ageing in society. He added that growing older can often be wrongly referred to in negative terms. He pointed out that the majority of older people in Ireland are healthy and independent and that mature age offers a new lease of life.

“The Department of Health and Children is committed to promoting good health among our ageing population, that achieving full health potential is especially important for older people and as such it is the aim of the National Health Promotion Strategy to enhance the quality of life and improve longevity for older people” stated the Minister.

The Minister went on to emphasise that he is keenly aware of the issues that may prevent older people from participating fully in society. He stated that through the mechanism of the Inter-Departmental Group, it is his intention to ensure that their needs continue to be examined, and are given due priority, in the Group’s future work.