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#QuestionsToCandidates: Elderly care, ensuring physical and mental health

What programs will be available to ensure the physical and mental health of the elderly?

4 June 2024

As Europe’s population ages, ensuring the physical and mental health of the elderly becomes increasingly important. Candidates offer their perspectives on how best to support this demographic, highlighting the role of both national and European initiatives.

Clare Daly (Independents 4 Change - The Left Group): Daly emphasizes the importance of national competency in elderly care while advocating for the effective use of available EU resources. "These issues are generally a matter for national governments, but we can push for better funding at the EU level," she says. Daly points out that Ireland has significant uncollected EU funds that could be used to improve elderly care. She criticizes the state aid rules that restrict public investment in essential services and calls for a government committed to utilizing available resources effectively. "We need a government that fights for these funds and prioritizes public services," Daly asserts.

Maria Walsh (Fine Gael Party - European People's Party): Walsh outlines Fine Gael’s commitment to expanding home and community support for the elderly. "Our Enhanced Community Care (ECC) program aims to bring health services closer to home, reducing hospital pressure and improving access for those who need it most," she explains. Walsh highlights the success of the Structured Chronic Disease Management Programme, which has significantly reduced hospital visits for chronic illness management. "With over 2,900 new healthcare workers and substantial funding increases, we are dedicated to supporting our ageing population," she adds. Walsh also points to the Free Travel scheme and increased funding for nursing homes and dementia care as key initiatives.

In conclusion, Irish candidates propose different approaches to ensure the well-being of the elderly. Daly focuses on leveraging EU funds and changing restrictive policies, while Walsh emphasizes expanding home and community health services. As the elections approach, these proposals will shape the future of elderly care in Europe, highlighting the need for both national action and effective use of EU resources.