Nearly 20% Increase In Number of Older People Acting as Carers – O’Rourke

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Local Fianna Fáil TD, Frank O’Rourke, has again highlighted the need to provide supports for older people, as CSO figures show a significant increase in the number of older people acting as carers for their loved ones and relatives.

“Between 2011 and 2016, there has been nearly a 20% increase, from 24,746 to 29,311, in the number of people, aged 65 years or older, providing care for their loved ones.”

“Since being elected, I have highlighted the need to prepare for the change in demographics.  In 2006, there were 468,000 people aged 65 or older in Ireland, but by 2041, the number of people in this country aged 65 or older will be 1.4 million.”

“I have highlighted the need for increased resources for Housing Adaption Grants, Fair Deal Scheme, Phone Allowance, Pension, Home Care Packages and Carers. The recent figures show that older people are now fulfilling, in many cases, the role of the State in providing care to those living with illness or disability,” stated Deputy O’Rourke.

“We must also ask who is looking after the carers? These carers also have needs and they also need supports. Those aged over 65 years of age are, on average, providing 1.43 million hours of care per week. This is an increase of 12% in just five years, which is placing an unfair burden on our older people.”

“I know from my constituency clinics that older people are not receiving the supports they need. As I have said in the Dail, there is not enough home help hours, respite support, and limited access to the Fair Deal Scheme. This means that the responsibility of providing care is being passed to spouses and older relatives,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

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