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Positive Ageing Strategy Implementation

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 17 May 2016

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Questions (838)

Thomas Pringle


838. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Health to outline an implementation plan and timeline for the national positive ageing strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10296/16]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The 2011-2016 Programme for Government committed to completing and implementing the National Positive Ageing Strategy (NPAS) so that older people are recognised, supported and enabled to live independent full lives. The Strategy provides a vision for an age-friendly society and includes four National Goals and underpinning Objectives to provide direction on the issues that need to be addressed to promote positive ageing.

The Strategy sets out high level Objectives and broad Areas for Action under four National Goals and two Cross-Cutting Objectives. The Objectives come under the remit of a diverse range of Government Departments and Agencies, and although the Department of Health has a central co-ordinating role, substantive responsibility for relevant areas remains with the Departments and agencies in whose remit relevant issues most directly fall.

The Objectives included in the Strategy are quite broad, and can be viewed as a set of principles to which Government has committed, and which will inform policies that affect older people on an indefinite basis into the future, rather than objectives that can be delivered within a finite timeframe, after which the Strategy will be finished.

My Department will shortly finalise proposals to consolidate the position of the National Positive Ageing Strategy within the decision-making process for Government Departments and Agencies generally. These will include arrangements to ensure ongoing structured engagements between relevant Departments, Agencies and relevant stakeholders, and will seek to ensure that the Strategy makes a lasting change to the way in which decisions affecting older people are taken.

A Healthy and Positive Ageing Initiative (HaPAI) has also been established to implement the research objective of the National Positive Ageing Strategy. It is a joint initiative between the Department of Health, the HSE’s Health and Wellbeing Programme and the Atlantic Philanthropies and will run from October 2014 to December 2017, with a commitment to Department of Health funding for a further two years. The Initiative will monitor changes in older people’s health and wellbeing linked to the Goals and Objectives of the Positive Ageing Strategy. This will be done primarily through the development of positive ageing indicators to be published every two years. A preliminary positive ageing report has been published and provides an overview of current evidence available on the lives of older people. The HSE will also develop a physical activity communications campaign under the Initiative.