Thursday, 29 April 2021
Covid-19, Mental Health and Older People: Statements
I thank Deputy Patricia Ryan for her continued interest in older people. On the first question, on mental health supports for older people, there are 1,000 mental health organisations throughout the country. We work closely with many such NGOs and fund them to provide supports for us. Nevertheless, it will always be the case that funding is made available at different times. We have to ensure that anybody who applies for funding ticks the boxes because this is taxpayers' money. There are so many different organisations and we want to avoid a duplication of services in different areas. I will take on board the Deputy's comments on the red tape in the case of organisations that apply every year.
On housing for older people, I had a meeting on the issue only a couple of weeks ago with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, while the Minister, Deputy Donnelly, has met the Minister at that Department, Deputy Darragh O'Brien. There are considerable opportunities to provide suitable housing for older people. Many older people's families have grown up and there might be one older person living in perhaps a three-bedroom semi-detached home. If such people had the opportunity to downsize to a small ground-floor home with the correct wraparound supports, they would give that consideration. I agree we definitely need to move on that.
I will have to get the Deputy a written response on the Monasterevin day care centre.