Posts Tagged ‘Community support’


Fergus Finlay on Community Support for Older People

May 5, 2009

Fergus Finlay speaking on RTÉ Radio 1’s Drivetime 22/04/2009

Fergus at the ISCP Annual Parliment MeetingI met the Senior Citizens’ Parliament last Friday at their Annual Conference in Dublin. They are an impressive and determined group of people who have two aims, to be a strong voice representing Older People and their needs and to promote inter-generational solidarity.

Although God knows I am not far off being qualified to be a member of the Parliament, I was there because my day job involves supporting children and I wanted to suggest that at times like this all the generations should be working together.

What I found when I met the Parliament was a group of very angry people, they are still angry about last years Medical Card fiasco and determined it won’t happen again and they are equally angry about the decision in the Budget of a fortnight ago to deprive pensioners of the now well established Christmas bonus.

ISCP APM 2009Their President, Sylvia Meehan, made the point passionately at the conference that this latest cut would mean that a lot of Irish pensioners, especially those who live alone will be colder and hungrier this year.

But when you speak to the Parliament member’s individually one thing becomes very clear, these are the people who never want to be a drain on the State. They are proud of the contribution they have made over their lifetime, raising families, holding down jobs, paying their taxes, involving themselves in all sorts of community activities. They have been through all the hardships of the past and they have paid their dues, what they want now and what they deserve is to be treated with respect.

There is one other thing that the members of that generation all have in common: ‘independence’, they are still more than prepared to carry their share of the burden and more than prepared to look after themselves and indeed in the times that we live in many of the Grandparents all are still contributing to the economy by enabling their children to participate.

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April 9, 2009

Community Support

for Older People

Scheme Suspended

At a time when attacks on Older People are increasing the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament are dismayed to learn that the scheme of community support for Older People is to be suspended. Effective from yesterday the Department will not be accepting any further applications for any of the supports provided under this scheme. We understand the Department has between 50 and 60 applications at present which have yet to be honoured.

The scheme provided Older People living in their own homes with vital community supports which enabled and supported independent living. Administered through grants to local community and voluntary groups it provided individuals with social alarms, small security extras such as chain locks and window locks, outside security lighting and smoke alarms.

Older People supported by supported by willing volunteers at a small cost to the state were assisted to feel and be more safe and secure in their homes. Given the recent increase in robberies around the country from which it would appear that Older People’s homes are being targeted by ruthless gangs the suspension of this grant is all the more regrettable and will cause many Older People and their families’ unnecessary stress.