Sinn Fein spokesperson for Older People Patricia Ryan TD has criticised the government treatment of older people, and lack of mental health services in the Dáil.
Deputy Ryan said:
“I have met with many of the groups representing older people. And all of them feel that older people were forgotten by this government in their response to Covid-19.
“It was no accident that this pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on our older citizens.
“There were 42,000 enquiries for the Age Action / Red Cross Hardship fund, 21,000 applications and just 453 of these applications were granted. This is through no fault of Age Action and The Red Cross who secured corporate sponsorship of over €100,000.
“There is a serious need for proper and consistent mental health facilities. I am proposing an RSA style body to tackle the epidemic of suicide. We need proper investment and we need a credible plan. This plan must include 24/7 mental health services. Anything less is simply not acceptable.
“Despite the excellent care and service provided by a local mental health charity in Newbridge called Hope D, this service is in danger of closing because Covid-19 has decimated it’s fundraising programmes. The HSE refers people to its service but refuses to provide funding.
“The Minister for Health and the Taoiseach must intervene directly to ensure that Hope D gets the help it deserves.”