Recommendations on how we best respond to the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population
The recommendations were reached by ballot paper voting and follow two weekends of deliberation which focussed on long term care and independent living, income, pension provision and creating opportunities in retirement.
A total of 16 questions appeared on the ballot:
- 100% of the members recommended that the Government urgently prioritise and implement existing policies and strategies in relation to older people (for e.g. National Positive Ageing Strategy).
- 60% of the members voted that it is the family/older person which should be responsible for providing required care for older people, but the State should have at least some responsibility.
- 87% of the members recommended an increase in public resources allocated for the care of older people.
- In this question members were asked to rank in order of preference where additional funding for care of older people should primarily be spent. Home care services and support received the most first preferences.
- In this question members were asked to rank in order of preference where they believed overall funding for care of older people should come from. A compulsory social insurance payment received the most first preferences.
- 99% of the members recommended that the Government expedite the current commitment to place home care for older persons on a statutory footing.
- 99% of the members voted that regulation, such as that currently in place for residential centres, should be extended to afford better protection to older people in receipt of all health and care services.
- The members made recommendations on the extension of regulation to the following health and care services for older people: Respite services; Day Care Services; Care & support services delivered by service providers in a person’s own home; Care and support services provided through a supported housing scheme.
- 87% of the members recommended that the Government should introduce some form of mandatory pension scheme to supplement the State pension.
- 96% of the members recommended the removal of the anomaly, which arises when a person who must retire at 65 is not entitled to the State pension until 66.
- 86% of the members recommended abolishing mandatory retirement based on age.
- 88% of the members recommended benchmarking the State pension by reference to average earnings.
- 100% of the members recommended that the Government should take steps to rationalise private pension schemes to include greater transparency in relation to fees.
- 87% of the members recommended that the Government backdate Homemakers Scheme to 1973
- 99% of the members recommended that the State support for carers, including access to education, retraining and pension arrangements should be enhanced.
Part C, question 16 of the Ballot paper offered members the opportunity to make recommendations on further issues which emerged during consideration of the topic and which were not directly related to the topic of long term care, pensions, income and retirement. Members were asked to express in order of preference, which of these issues they consider to be the most important. The members made the following additional recommendations:
- The responsibility for older people should be formally delegated to a dedicated Minister of State for Older People (92%)
- A dedicated point of contact for older people to access information about services, supports and entitlements, supported with a national awareness campaign (91%)
- Take steps to ensure that older people have a stronger voice in determining their own care needs (88%)
- Ensure stronger governmental leadership in relation to the prioritisation of the health and social care needs of older people (83%)
- The State should promote, encourage and organise non-financial intergenerational transfers, for example between younger and older people (73%)
- The State should urgently commence the remaining provisions of the Assisted Decision Making (Capacity) Act 2015 and urgently enact legislation in relation to the safeguarding of adults who may be vulnerable (92%)