On Friday the 24th of March in the Ardboyne Hotel, Navan, Minister for Mental Health and Older People and Meath East Fine Gael T.D. addressed the AGM and Roadshow of the Meath Later Life Network.
“There is a really strong sense of energy and ambition at this event this morning, with the many information stands, and amongst you – the attendees. It’s an energy and an enthusiasm I certainly hope to take away with me and put to good use, especially in my work as Minister for Mental Health and Older People” Minister McEntee told the delegates from the Meath Later Life Network.
“In the 9 months or so since I became a Minister, the key vision I have set out is the importance of Older People living in their own homes, and in their local communities for as long as possible, with whatever supports they need, and In safety and security. Organisations like the Later Life Network, and the Meath Age Friendly Alliance. are important allies and partners in making this vision a reality. Your roadshow here today, which I wish well, is another practical aid and guide in how that vision can become a reality here in Meath and nationally” Minister McEntee said.
“Ireland, and more so mainland Europe, are ageing relative to many other parts of the world. The wealth and economic progress that we took for granted before 10 years ago, and may be in danger of taking for granted again, will not continue at the same pace for ever. Against this backdrop, we will have an ageing society, and increased demands on our public services with our resoruces growing more slowly. We need innovation, imagination and partnerships to ensure these public services meet these new challenges and this new environment” she said.
That’s why, for instance, in the coming months I have ordered a full review of the Home Care Scheme. In creating a new homecare scheme we need to plan for the projected increase in our older population and to devise a cost-effective and sustainable scheme and regulatory regime. In addition, we must also ensure that we don’t damage what is already in place in homes across Ireland. I know from speaking to older people and their families that many have informal home care arrangements in place. We must ensure that any new scheme, which will contain new regulations, does not endanger or restrict the current informal arrangements which are in place” Minister McEntee told the AGM.
A consultation process, which is planned to begin in the coming months, will allow all those who have views on this topic to have their say.
“Ageing and older people should not be framed in any debate as a burden. Later Life is also an exciting opportunity. Now and in years to come, there will be an ever growing wealth of experience to draw upon in our country. We need new and creative ways to harness this experience for the good of our country. We need to unleash this potential” Minister McEntee concluded.