Ageing, Social Care & Social Justice

In a little over ten years from now there will be almost one million people aged 65 and older living in Ireland. Population ageing matters to all of us, either directly, as anyone aged over 55 years now will be in that cohort, or indirectly as loved ones of older people who may need our support as they grow older. We need to realise our own sense of self-interest in the demographic changes that are occurring, as we are all, in one way or another, in planning care for our future older selves, family and friends. The Citizen’s Assembly on Ageing (2017) made important recommendations in relation to current and future arrangements and responsibilities for the provision and financing of long-term care in Ireland.

As a contribution to the ongoing debate around the future of long-term care in Ireland, the National University of Ireland Galway, in collaboration with the University of Notre Dame, brought together a small group of policymakers, practitioners and researchers, including national and international experts, to consider some of the big questions facing Ireland in the coming decades around resource allocation, priority-setting and social justice in relation to the care and support of dependent older people in Ireland. This one-day symposium explored some of the key questions in regard to the care of dependent older people in Ireland including:

1. Who should bear primary responsibility for the care of dependent older people in Ireland?
2. Where should care be provided?
3. How should the care of dependent older people be financed?
4. What lessons can be learned from the way other countries provide and pay for care?

The proceedings are summarised in this document and provide an account of the main issues covered during the symposium. Read the proceedings here.