AHEAD OF INTERNATIONAL Day of Older People, charity ALONE is highlighting the fact that one in five older people in Ireland live in deprivation.
CEO of the charity Sean Moynihan said ALONE is in contact every day with people who are “within the 20% of Irish older people that are at risk of poverty or living in deprivation”.
“There is an unacceptable amount of older people within society with very little to celebrate and who are living without a range of basic human rights,” he said.
The number of older people in Ireland who are marginalised or deprived has actually increased from one in ten in 2009, to one in five in 2012. 74,520 Irish people over the age of 65 are suffering enforced deprivation and of these 14,100 of them are also ‘at risk of poverty’.
The identification of the marginalised or deprived is achieved by the CSO on the basis of a set of eleven deprivation indicators which include how frequently a person can afford to eat meat, if they’ve had to do without heating and if they can afford to buy new clothes.
“This government has consistently introduced cuts that adversely affect the most vulnerable in society; home help hours have been reduced, prescription charges have been introduced, the property tax has been brought in, it is harder to qualify for the drugs payment scheme and now they have introduced water charges,” commented Moynihan.
“As well as this rental prices have increased dramatically and yet – there has been no increase to the state pension despite the fact that some older people receive a state pension which puts them below the poverty threshold.”