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Ministers Damien English and Jim Daly host Expert Conference on Housing for Older People

Published on Tuesday, 20 Nov 2018
Aire Stáit Damien English TD

Mr Damien English, T.D., Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal together with, Mr Jim Daly, T.D, Minister for Mental Health and Older People today (20th November 2018) hosted an Expert Conference on Housing for Older People at Farmleigh House, Dublin. The purpose of the Conference was to bring together experts who are working to provide the kind of housing which allows people to age with dignity in a home of their choice and, where necessary, to provide supports in accordance with the objectives of Rebuilding Ireland. This expertise will serve to inform the policy framework to underpin this objective which is currently being drafted by the two Departments.

Minister English said “There are a number of key principles underpinning Government policy on housing for older people and on which our policy framework will be constructed. These are putting in place measures to ensure that sustainable housing is provided in the right location to enable people to age in the community; to design housing and the environment in accordance with the principles of sustainable lifetime housing; to promote the use of assistive technology to support people to live independently; to give adequate consideration to the need for social connectedness in devising policy; and, to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to achieve the policy objectives.

The experts we have heard today have explained how these principles can be brought to fruition in imaginative and practical ways which bring about tangible benefits for the older person. I will ensure that this invaluable knowledge is integrated into the development of policy in this vital issue for us all.”

Minister Daly said “This conference will outline various principles, good practice, experience and evidence that can assist with developing new options of housing with supports for older people. In recent years, as a nation, we have become very successful at adding years to life, the challenge now is to add life to those years. Developing a range of appropriate housing options for older people, with the aim of re-balancing the care model away from residential care to supporting older people to remain living independently at home and in their communities for longer is an integral part of this challenge. It is important that people are supported and encouraged to live independently, in a supported environment for as long as possible, and to plan for this as they approach retirement. This conference provides the opportunity to hear from experts in housing and health and social care services, to inform the development of an appropriate policy framework to respond to the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

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