Ageism in Ireland...


A great article in todays Irish Times HEALTHplus highlights examples of ageism which is still alive in Ireland today. Jacky Jones, a former regional manager of health promotion describes how "Stena Line is advertising the amount of luggage you can bring when you travel on one of its ferries, including as many suitcases as will fit in the car, the dogs, and Grandma." Which is ageist.

No society has yet ‘solved’ the challenges of ageing, and no past societies have provided comprehensive models to copy. Instead we have no choice but to innovate, experiment and learn fast.

National Positive Ageing Strategy (NPAS) survey asked 'What does positive ageing mean to older people' and found;

  • The desire and ability to continue to live an active, independent and engaged life was emphasised as core to what the majority of older people want under this principle but also across all principles.
  • The ability to live an independent life was linked by participants to access to a wide range of quality services. The range of services most referred to and considered core included: housing (including supports and a range of housing options); health; education; leisure; transport and information. An important theme relating to service delivery was the need for a ‘more joined-up approach.’

The increased numbers of increasingly healthy older people in Ireland and around the globe is a major social and scientific advance, perhaps the most significant of the last century.

One helpful calculation is that we will have the equivalent of an extra 5 hours a day added to our lives. Put another way, we woke up this morning to what is effectively a 29-hour day. Twenty-four of those hours, we will use now; the other five will be put by for later. This is an extraordinary rich resource for present and future generations!

The time has now come for Government action on the National Positive Ageing Strategy, act now and become a supporter of positive ageing in Ireland.