Minister for Older People in face-to-face meeting with older people and service providers in the West
“The expected increase in the numbers of older people in the population in the years ahead will present great opportunities for Irish society”, the Minister for Older People and Health Promotion, Áine Brady TD said today in Galway. “There will be more older people in Ireland in the future but rather than becoming overly focussed on the problems posed by an ageing population, we must take a much more positive view and grasp the many opportunities that the increase in the numbers of people aged 65 and over will present to us as a society,” the Minister said.
The Minister was speaking in Salthill a consultation meeting on the National Positive Ageing Strategy, the third in a series of meetings currently being held throughout the country as part of the preparation for the new Strategy for older people. The meeting was organised by the Office for Older People in cooperation with Galway City Partnership and was attended by over 100 older people, representatives of older people’s organisations, and service providers from the statutory, voluntary and community sectors in the Western region. Other consultation meetings will be held in Kildare, Wexford, Limerick, Louth and Dublin in April and May.
Noting that the preparation of the new Strategy is the first time that there has been such a wide-ranging consultation between Government and older people in Ireland, the Minister said that the new Strategy would deal with all the issues that impact on the lives of older people.
“We want to have the best possible arrangements in place for older people,” the Minister said. “Programmes and services can help achieve this and I believe that these can be organised and delivered in much better ways than they are at present, ways that make them much more accessible to people, and this is the challenge. But I also believe that attitudes towards older people and perceptions of ageing are also of importance. Ageism is an issue for all older people and we must work to tackle ageism as a priority,” she stressed.
The Minister said that she is committed to encouraging people to think positively about the ageing process, enabling them to plan sensibly for their later years and promoting the kind of lifestyle practices that will have the effect of adding years to life and life to years.