Joe Behan - Independent Councillor - Wicklow County Council

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Positive Aging Requires Positive Support

Archive Statements > 2017 - July-December

Positive Aging Requires Positive Support
14th September 2017

We will celebrate all the positive aspects of ageing this week but we must never relax in our campaign to ensure that older people are supported in every way to enjoy health and happiness in their senior years. We should never forget that our older citizens are the people who made many sacrifices to build up this nation in the post war period when there was economic depression, sub standard housing, few educational opportunities and inadequate health care.

This and previous governments have paid lip service to older people but in reality older people are constantly let down day in day out. Older patients are too often left waiting on trolleys in hospital corridors as over worked doctors and nurses struggle to cope with under provision of hospital staff and facilities. Older people are still without the telephone allowance which would ensure that they would always stay connected to the outside world. This is a vital allowance which should be restored immediately.

Older people are being singled out by banks who refuse to take their cash and who attempt to force them to deal with technology which is difficult for them to handle as they get older. This often results in older people keeping their money at home. Older people living alone are then in constant fear of attack in their homes and successive governments have failed to ensure that there is adequate Garda cover to give older people peace of mind. The Government should also put manners on the banks by insisting that all bank branches continue to serve the needs of all citizens, particularly seniors.

Older women who worked in their early years are discriminated against when it comes to claiming their right to an occupational pension. Many women in this situation paid social welfare stamps but, because of Government policy restricting their access to a pension, they have paid contributions and got nothing in return. This is outrageous and we all have a duty to support these older women to get their rightful entitlements.

Yes. We celebrate positive ageing but we should also ensure that we respect and support our older citizens to enjoy their lives free from worry about safety, financial security and healthcare.

Cllr. Joe Behan


Serving the people of County Wicklow since 1985 |

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