More than half of people over 50 years of age living in Ireland have experienced ageism. There is convincing evidence that when older people experience age-related discrimination they internalise these negative views, feel older and less capable and are less likely to look after themselves.
The Irish Republic's population aged over 65 has increased by 19 per cent, or 102,174 people, since 2011. The numbers of those aged 0-14 only increased by 71,439. So the population is getting older. The fact is that people living longer is a good thing.
The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (Tilda), Health and Wellbeing: Active Ageing for Older Adults in Ireland 2017 report found that “older adults in Ireland far from being reliant on social supports are net contributors to their extended families and the communities in which they live”.
Almost half of older people help their adult children out financially, whereas only 3 per cent of adult children provide financial help to their parents. Half of adults aged 54 to 74 provide regular childcare for their grandchildren for an average of 36 hours each month. Two-thirds participate in a wide range of social activities including going to the pub and eating out in restaurants, thus contributing to the local economy. In addition, older people are the backbone of the volunteer structure.