Clonmel Fianna Fail Cllr Siobhan Ambrose has called on the Taoiseach Enda Kenny to strongly consider appointing a minister for older people in any future cabinet re-shuffle. Cllr Ambrose raised this issue at this month’s meeting of both Clonmel Borough Council and South Tipperary County Council. According to Cllr Ambrose the two most vulnerable phases in a person’s life are as a child and as an older person.
She said that as a country we are fortunate enough to have a minister for children and this department has greatly improved the everyday lives of children.
Similarly, Cllr Ambrose feels that older people, having worked hard for all of their working lives deserve a dedicated minister to be a voice for them amid the ever growing challenges that they face on a daily basis such as: cuts to the telephone, electricity and fuel allowances and increases in perscription charges; changes to the medical card means test for the over 70s which has made it more difficult to be approved for a medical card; increases in charges for respite care; the Fair Deal scheme for nursing homes which many families find very restrictive; reduction in the funding of local authorities’ older persons grants for items like a walk in shower, hand rails and replacement of old windows and doors.
Cllr Ambrose said she hopes with a growing older population that the Taoiseach will consider this proposal in any future re-shuffle.