New report highlights needs of older people in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary

Tipperary Star reporter

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Tipperary Star reporter

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eoin.kelleher@tipperarystar.ie

New report highlights needs of older people in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary

Dr. Pat Bogue, Independant Researcher, Broadmore Consulting, who completed the research project.

A new report on the analysis of the needs of older people living in Roscrea highlights the likely significant increase in those aged over 65 years and the subsequent increase in demand for a wide range of services from social to healthcare.

The report which was commissioned by Friends of Dean Maxwell Home and Age Friendly Roscrea was launched on Wednesday last at the Health and Wellbeing Information Event in Rackett Hall, Roscrea (see p25 of our print edition this week).

The report ‘Analysis of the Needs of Older People Living in Roscrea’ was compiled by independent research consultant, Dr Pat Bogue, Broadmore Research & Consulting.

Commenting on the need for the research, Anne Keevey, Chairperson of Age Friendly Roscrea and committee member of Friends of Dean Maxwell referred to longevity- living longer, more active lives as being the greatest success of our generation. This changing demographic challenges us to respect and support these added years.

The foundation for this report was to examine what we have, what we need and the direction we need to take. For Age Friendly Roscrea, this research was critical to underpin our projects going forward; to give us the solid evidence to represent the views of Older Roscrea Citizens. This report will provide our public representatives and our service providers with the necessary research to expand existing services and establish much needed ones.

For Friends of Dean Maxwell Home, this report confirms the needs and wishes of Older Roscrea Citizens in relation to their Health and Social Care needs; the need for a comprehensive and locally based service that responds to the citizens needs and rights and not merely what happens to be available.

Outlining the background and findings of the report Dr. Pat Bogue referred to the figures from the 2016 Census of Population that show - one in seven people in Roscrea were aged over 65 years. However, in 12 years’ time (2030), it is projected that one in five people in the area will be aged over 65 years. That’s an increase of 50% which is due to a general aging of the population and people living longer due to improved lifestyles, health and well-being. Dr Bogue highlighted that ‘one of the fastest growing groups is the over 80’s.

A woman aged 65 years today is expected to live for 21 years while a man of the same age is expected to live for 18 years. There is likely to be increased pressure on existing services, demand for new services and individuals using services for a much longer period.

An ESRI report indicated that between 2015 and 2030, the demand for: GP visits would increase by over a quarter; public health nurse visits would increase by over one third; long term care and home care packages by over half.

The needs of older people are diverse from those living independently in their own homes with no support to those living in full-time care facilities. At one end of the spectrum are those older people with only basic healthcare and social needs to those who need high end care and a complex range of health and social care needs.

The report was compiled following consultations and input from older people living in Roscrea and community and voluntary representatives involved in Age Friendly Roscrea and Friends of Dean Maxwell Home. The comprehensive report identifies needs in a broad range of areas including: public areas and buildings; transport; housing; social inclusion and participation; information; and healthcare.

Dr Bogue stressed that it is critically important that service providers, businesses and statutory agencies take heed of the needs of older people and consider these needs in the future planning and development of services. He also encouraged older people to use the opportunity of the local elections next year to make demands on their local representatives.

Full report is available from Age Friendly Roscrea.