Government warned to consult older people on positive ageing strategy
Resource type: News
by EITHNE DONNELLAN
THE GOVERNMENT has been warned that if it fails to consult older people on the development of a proposed national positive ageing strategy that it could suffer the consequences in next year’s local elections.
The warning came yesterday from the Older and Bolder group which was set up in 2006 to campaign for a national positive ageing strategy in advance of the last general election.
A commitment to a strategy was subsequently included in the programme for Government.
Now Older and Bolder, an alliance of eight non-governmental organisations in the ageing sector, has launched the second phase in its campaign which aims to ensure a “gold standard strategy” is developed and implemented.
Tom O’Higgins, chairman of Older and Bolder, said such a strategy, if it was to be meaningful, would have to include input from older people.
And he said the Government was on notice since the medical cards for over-70s controversy of the folly of doing something like this without consulting older people first.
He signalled that if older people were not consulted on the strategy, which is likely to outline entitlements and so on, they would bear it in mind when the local elections come round next year.
He was speaking at a conference in Dublin which was also addressed by Minister for Older People Máire Hoctor. She said an inter-departmental group charged with managing the development of the strategy would hold its first meeting today. She said the public would be consulted on it.