Thursday, 27 January 2011
Department of Health and Children
Care of the Elderly
Question 38: To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children the position regarding the National Positive Aging Strategy; the major developmental phases of the strategy and the timeframe for same; when the strategy will be completed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [4400/11]
Question 40: To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children the institutional arrangements for the development, implementation, monitoring and review of the national Positive Ageing Strategy; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [4402/11]
Áine Brady (Minister of State with special responsibility for Older People and Health Promotion, Department of Health and Children; Minister of State, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government; Minister of State, Department of Social and Family Affairs; Kildare North, Fianna Fail)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 39 to 40, inclusive, together.
The development of a National Positive Ageing Strategy arises from a commitment in the Programme for Government 2007-2012. It is being developed within the constraints posed by the present fiscal situation. It is not the intention that it will propose new service developments; rather it will set the strategic direction for future policies, programmes and services for older people in Ireland. It is envisaged that the Strategy will set out a common framework for the development of operational plans by Government Departments clearly setting out their objectives relating to older people, as well as the development of ongoing mechanisms designed to monitor progress and identify challenges facing older people in the future.
Development of the Strategy is being assisted by a Cross-Departmental Group (CDG), comprised of officials from 11 Government Departments, the Central Statistics Office and An Garda Síochána, and is chaired by the Director of the Office for Older People. An NGO Liaison Group comprising representatives of twelve national-level non-governmental organisations with an interest in older people's issues has been established under an independent chair. An Expert Advisory Group, which is in the process of being established, will also inform the process.
Research has been commissioned on national strategies for older people in other jurisdictions. The Strategy will also take cognisance of other strategies and policy documents developed in Ireland over the past decade, and the strategy will be underpinned by the UN Principles for Older Persons, the World Health Organisation's Active Ageing: A Policy Framework (2002), and the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (2002).
The development of the Strategy will also be informed by information gained through a public consultation process. A call for written submissions was issued in June 2009 and 190 submissions were received from a broad range of stakeholders. Following the written consultation process, a series of nine consultation meetings was held from March to May 2010. These meetings, attended by approx 1200 people, were held in Cork, Sligo, Galway, Kildare, Wexford, Newcastle West, Dundalk, Dublin and Athlone. Meetings were also held in April 2010 with groups representing vulnerable and marginalised older people. A round-table meeting was also held with stakeholders involved in the Louth Age Friendly County Initiative with a view to learning more about the approaches taken in relation to older people's issues in County Louth.
A report on the consultation process to highlight issues which older people and service providers raised was finalised and published on 22 November 2010. The report also outlines other relevant background information.
Work on the preparation of the Strategy and the development of monitoring and review structures and processes are on-going in consultation with the groups listed above.