Independent living on Citizens’ Assembly agenda

The Citizens’ Assembly is meeting this weekend to consider how best to respond to the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population.

It will be the first of two meetings of the assembly at which the subject of ageing will be discussed and follows a recommendation by its chair, Ms Justice Mary Laffoy, who said a further weekend was needed for a thorough debate. The agenda will focus on long-term care and independent living.

During the day, members will hear from elderly people living independently or in long-term care, along with medical, statistical, and social care practitioners.

“I firmly believe there is much value in pausing and truly listening to the experiences of others to gain perspectives, and I would encourage people, young and old, to listen to what they have to say,” said Ms Justice Laffoy.

The assembly received 120 submissions on the weekend’s scheduled topic from the public and representative groups.

Head of advocacy and communications at Age Action, Justin Moran, said that the assembly was an important opportunity to focus on what must be done to plan for the growing numbers of older people in Ireland.

“To be effective, it needs to bring forward clear, tangible, recommendations to the Oireachtas that will support and empower older people,” said Mr Moran.

The 99-member assembly met for five weekends to discuss the eighth amendment to the Constitution and, in a historic move that has far-reaching consequences for the State, 64% voted for abortion without restriction to be made lawful.

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