Fianna Fáil TD for Louth Seamus Kirk has called on the Government to work with community groups to reform healthcare for older people across the country. Deputy Kirk spoke in support of a suggestion made by Age Action Ireland to use GAA club houses and other community resources to help care for older people during the day.

Deputy Kirk commented, “Support services for older people have made extraordinary advances in the last decade, but more work still needs to be done to ensure all people get the high quality care they deserve. Age Action Ireland has been to the forefront of advocating a community based approach to caring for older people. I support the latest call that they have made for healthcare for older people to be reformed along the lines of community-based services.

“The Government needs to work with resource groups in our communities to secure adequate services for older people. In many communities there is no day care centre in place, yet there are other facilities lying idle during the day that could be put to good use. One example is GAA clubhouses which are often not in use until the evening. If possible these clubhouses should be used to help provide a day care service for those older people who currently do not have access to such services.

“Another community resource that could be used to support older people is school buses. These buses have clearly defined timetables and routes to bring children to school, but when not being used for that purpose they could be used to bring older people to day care centres.

“The community needs to be at the heart of the provision of services for older people. I am calling on the Government to work with all stakeholders to ensure older people get the high quality care that they deserve” said Deputy Kirk.