Call on Government to appoint a champion for National Positive Ageing Strategy

An Alliance of seven major organisations working in the ageing sector has called on Government to appoint a lead person to take charge of implementing the National Positive Ageing Strategy, in its Pre-Budget Submission 2022.

Members of The Alliance of Age Sector NGOs (the Alliance) have made two calls on Government as it finalises Budget 2022:

  1. To appoint a Champion, with a cross-Departmental brief, that will prioritise older people’s issues and resource the active implementation of the National Positive Ageing Strategy (NPAS).
  2. Take ageism seriously and implement a well-resourced and meaningful programme of action to counteract it.

The Alliance represents the collective thinking of seven significant NGOs working in the age sector including Active Retirement Ireland, Age & Opportunity, ALONE, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Irish Hospice Foundation, The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament and Third Age.

The Alliance today said:

“The National Positive Ageing Strategy (NPAS), published in 2013, has been waiting for Government to take it seriously. Had it been actively implemented in the seven years between publication and the pandemic, many of the negative effects on older people of the COVID-19 response could have been avoided.

“NPAS contains still relevant approaches to eliminating ageism, ensuring that ageing is taken seriously, that older people’s needs and preferences inform policy and practice, that most older people can age in place, get the supports they need, have options in their lives and can participate fully in all that’s going on.

“This vision is as valid as ever. While some progress has been made across the last ten years, full and meaningful implementation has yet to be brought about. Therefore, what we need now is a Government champion, with a cross-Departmental brief, who takes responsibility for focussed progress on tackling ageism and making the NPAS vision a reality.

“Only Government can bring together all stakeholders and ensure best quality collaboration. The Alliance believes that we need leadership and coordination, systematic engagement and real commitment, energetic implementation and meaningful monitoring.

“The Alliance believes that its two proposals will not represent a significant budget ask for Government, while the gains or dividend for us all as we age will be worth the effort. The Alliance would be pleased to work collaboratively with Government in supporting the implementation of the two key actions proposed.

“This Submission is a call to action to put in place a clearly led whole of Government response which will be key to ensuring a positive ageing experience for all of us. Without this, Ireland will be forever playing catch-up with demographic change.”