Active Retirement Ireland, the country’s largest membership organisation for older people, has today (Wednesday 29 May) launched its European Parliament elections manifesto ‘Amplifying Older Voices — Empowering Older People in Ireland and Europe’ on behalf of its 24,000 members at their national AGM taking place in Wexford, with more than 300 representatives from Active Retirement Associations around the country in attendance.

The manifesto clearly sets out Active Retirement Ireland’s strong recommendations for policies and practices that promote the rights of older people, including access to healthcare, social protection, participation in decision-making and freedom from discrimination and abuse.

The charity is calling for the voices of older people to be amplified during this year’s European Parliament elections and for EU policy to deliver a society where older people are better valued, respected and empowered to live fulfilling lives.

Active Retirement Ireland CEO Maureen Kavanagh said, “The way in which a society values and respects its older citizens is its measure. Our manifesto, launched today, is call to action for candidates and elected MEPs to listen to what older people have to say and take note.

“Older people are not bystanders in public policy and should not have their needs decided for them without their input. They have much to contribute and their voices and interests must be considered at all stages of policy development.

“Ireland and the EU must stand together with shared commitment to promoting the voices, rights and wellbeing of older people. We must amplify older voices and advocate for meaningful change if we are to be a more inclusive and age-friendly society for all.”

Head of Programmes and Policy at Active Retirement Ireland, Alison Bough, said, “As people age, they may face unique challenges and vulnerabilities but these do not diminish their worth or their rights. Older peoples’ rights to live with dignity, autonomy and independence must be upheld and protected by society and its institutions.

“Our mantra, ‘nothing about us without us’, encapsulates our commitment to ensuring that older people are actively involved in decision-making processes that affect their lives. This year of elections is a timely reminder that older people must have a seat at the table and a voice in shaping policies and initiatives that impact them.

“We are calling on elected representatives to work with older people to achieve positive change — for policies and initiatives that promote the rights and wellbeing of older people in Ireland and Europe.”

Active Retirement Ireland’s European Parliament elections manifesto ‘Amplifying Older Voices — Empowering Older People in Ireland and Europe’ is published in full on the charity’s website and outlines key proposals to fight ageism, ensure secure pensions, protect the right to age in place, support population health with active ageing policies, guarantee access to goods and services and mainstream ageing in policy.

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