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Government Approval of Commission on Care Announced

The government has approved a proposal from the Minister for Health and the Minister of State for Older People to establish an independent Commission on Care for Older Persons.

The Commission, which is due to be established in January 2024, will examine the provision of health and social care services and supports for older persons and make recommendations to the government for their strategic development. Subsequently, a cross-departmental group will be established under the auspices of the Commission to consider whether the supports for positive ageing across the life course are fit-for-purpose and to develop a costed implementation plan for options to optimise these supports.

Minister Stephen Donnelly said, “I am delighted to announce that the government has approved our proposal for the Commission on Care for Older Persons. Fulfilling a commitment in our Programme for Government, the establishment of the Commission will provide a mechanism for a comprehensive and independent review of our health and social care services and supports provided to older persons. This review will underpin the development of a framework for the overarching strategic development of health and social care for older persons that advances national policy priorities. A cross-departmental group will then be established under the aegis of the Commission to examine the support provided across Government and civil society for citizens’ healthy and autonomous ageing.”

“That Ireland has one of the most rapidly ageing demographic profiles in the EU is an achievement to be celebrated and a range of initiatives are already being put in place which are significantly enhancing our responsiveness to older persons’ care needs. The work of the Commission will ensure that these initiatives are underpinned by a coherent policy approach that draws on lessons learnt internationally and maximises our responsiveness to the challenges and opportunities presented by our ageing population on a sustainable and cost-effective basis.”

Describing the government’s approval of the proposal for the Commission as a significant milestone, the Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler, commented, “as Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, I am aware of the great progress we have made in recent years in responding to the care needs of our olderpeople. I am also aware of the challenges we face as our population ages. The Commission on Care for Older Persons provides an opportunity for us to take stock of our progress to date and to future-proof our health and social care provision for the older age cohort. Engagement and collaboration with stakeholders will be central to the work of the Commission.”

“It is well-established that the inequalities that accumulate across a person’s life impact upon their care needs in later years. It is therefore vitally important that, as a government, we do everything we can to support everyone to age well. Accordingly, I am particularly pleased that the remit of the Commission will include the establishment of a cross-departmental group to examine support for positive ageing across Government and civil society. This holistic approach to responding to the challenges and opportunities of our ageing population will ensure that Ireland continues to be a great country in which to grow old.”


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