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Ageing and Irish Social Policy

2008-06-11, Quinn, Suzanne, Kennedy, Patricia

Ageing and Social Policy in Ireland brings together the writings of specialists in a range of areas relevant to the situation of older people in Ireland. The overall subject of ageing and social policy is of current relevance and will remain so in the coming decades. This is because Ireland, like other European countries, is facing demographic changes and parallel policy challenges. The average life expectancy has increased quite dramatically in recent decades. The average life expectancy for a man in Ireland at age 66 is now 80 . 6 years while, on average, a woman at the same age will have a further 17 . 9 years to live. Social Inclusion: Building an Inclusive Society , the National Plan for Social Inclusion (Government of Ireland, 2002), outlines a vision for older people in which they are enabled to maintain their health and well-being, live active and full lives, indepen- dently and in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. It envisions older people participating in social and civic life, having sufficient income to support an acceptable standard of living, and having access to good quality services in the community, including: health, education, transport, housing and security.