With Election 2011 just days away, Age Action Ireland is urging all older people to vote and ensure that their voices are heard.
Age Action, as a charity promotes positive ageing and better policies and services for older people and works with, and on behalf of, older people. As an organisation Age Action is non political and although it has never encouraged its members to vote for one party or candidate over another it has always passionately urged older people to make sure they vote.
People aged over 65 represent 11% of the population, but they account for 17% of the electorate and their views must be taken seriously.
According to Danette Connolly of Home Instead Senior Care, Waterford, “The senior population accounts for a significant proportion of the Irish electorate. It would be folly of the next government to disregard this segment of the population and to not take seriously their election issues and concerns.”
The concerns seniors have a very real and very pressing. Many want the next government to guarantee that the state pension is adequate, they want assurance that they, our most vulnerable, are protected, they want to see the appointment of age advocates and also that suitable policies are produced to meet the needs of our ageing population. With almost 500,000 people aged 65 years or older and this figure set to rise to 812,000 by 2025, this section of the electorate certainly shouldn’t be ignored.”
“The need for regulation of home care is another issue that has received a lot of coverage over the last few months. In fact, on February 9th the Irish Times published an article which sought the views of several election candidates on home help and home care services. All candidates unequivocally called for the regulation of all home care and home help for seniors.”
Danette added “The spotlight needs to remain focused on senior issues, not just in the run up to polling day, but for the long term. Each party has expressed commitment to enforcing regulation and the imposition of structures to care for our seniors. It’s up to us to keep the pressure on them.”
For further information on Home Instead Senior Care log on to www.homeinstead.ie or call 051 333966.