We at Irish Senior Citizens Parliament are proud to be a member of the Alliance of Age Sector NGOs (the Alliance), alongside six NGOs: Alone, Age & Opportunity, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Irish Hospice Foundation, Active Retirement Ireland, and Third Age. The Alliance represents the collective thinking of these significant NGOs working in the age sector, uniting our learning from working with the diversity of older people and the issues that they face.
Ireland is ageing fast, and our economy, health service, communities and families need to adapt. Although many Government Departments and Agencies play an important role, we still need to have a coherent, active and measurable national strategy supported by a structured, whole of-government, cross-Departmental approach with senior-level Government engagement and oversight.
The Alliance of Age Sector NGOs launches its 2023 Report, ‘Telling It Like It Is; Combatting Ageism,’ which sets out why Ireland needs to take ageism seriously and take meaningful action to counteract it. The report highlights the nature and impact of ageism in Ireland and offers several evidence-informed strategies to reduce it.
Ageism arises when age categorises and divides people in ways that lead to harm, disadvantage and injustice. Ageism is ever-present and has considerable harmful effects, including a shorter lifespan, diminished mental and physical health, isolation, lost commitment to the workplace, cognitive decline, and reduced quality of life.
The report includes nine actions which, when implemented, will reduce the stigma and ill effects associated with ageing. The most pressing of these actions is the appointment of an Independent Commissioner for Ageing and Older People – similar to that in place in both Northern Ireland and Wales. The Alliance believes that the establishment of a Commissioner for Ageing and Older People would support our ageing population by actioning a programme for government which prioritises older people. It would ensure that all the commitment to mainstreaming ageing is kept to the fore of policy and decision-making and that there is enhanced investment in programmes and services to combat ageism nationally.