April 26 – May 30, 2024



Public information meeting on positive ageing to be held in Bandon


F ianna Fáil Councillor in the Bandon-Kinsale Mu- nicipal District, Gillian Coughlan, is hosting a public meeting on ‘Positive Ageing in Your Community’, on Friday 26th April at 7:30pm in the Munster Arms Hotel, Bandon. The meeting will focus on important information for the community, including how to engage with the relevant services and resources as well as advice on the physical, mental and emotional aspects of ageing. The meeting has an impres- sive speaker lineup, featuring: • Dr Michael O’Connor, Con- sultant Geriatrician at Cork University Hospital • Dr John Sheehan, GP • Aisling O’Sullivan, Healthy Age Friendly Homes Scheme

Co-Ordinator • Roger Pearson, Chairperson, St Michael’s Centre, Bandon • Noreen Walsh, PHN • Anthony Greenway BCL, He- garty and Horgan Solicitors, Kinsale • Kinsale Men’s Shed Commenting ahead of the meeting, Cllr Coughlan said: “Thankfully, Irish people are living longer and healthier lives than ever before. This means it is extremely important for everyone to be aware of how to maintain our quality of life as we age. “All are welcome to attend this information meeting on positive ageing which will help people learn what services and resources are there to help and how to engage with them. “I have found that increas-

ingly in recent years, people in their thirties and forties in particular have been in contact with me, seeking advice on how to care for ageing parents and relatives. I would particularly encourage this cohort to attend, as there will be information on how to engage with the many services and resources that can help, as well as advice on the physical, mental and emotional aspects of ageing. “It is also true that the legal and financial implications of ageing can be daunting. That is why the meeting will also focus on this area. There will also be opportunities to network and ask questions so I look forward to welcoming everybody to the meeting.”

Speakers: Dr Michael O’ Connor, Consultant Geriatrician, Cork University Hospital Dr John Sheehan, GP, Cork City Aisling O Sullivan, Healthy Age Friendly Homes Scheme Co- Ordinator Roger Pearson, Chairperson, St. Michael’s Centre, Bandon Noreen Walsh, PHN

Mr Anthony Greenway BCL, Hegarty and Horgan Solicitors, Kinsale Kinsale Men’s Shed

Government and local authorities need to face some ‘Home Truths’ about accessible housing

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Housing shortages in Ireland have been well documented and highlighted. But everyday in Cork, Margaret O’Connor, service manager with Cork Irish Wheelchair Association meets people with disabilities who are facing a deeper, silent housing crisis that doesn’t have the commitments or resources from government and local authorities to address them.

to keep accessible housing on the agenda for local authorities and local politicians. There are many committed individuals in our local authorities who work hard to make sure people with disabilities are included in local housing rollout. But overall, as government and local authorities remain committed to building more and more houses, people with dis- abilities remain excluded. Un- fortunately a report published in January by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Disability Matters found that Ireland’s provision of independent living and inclusion in the community has worsened in recent years. The committee was reporting on Ireland’s performance under the UN treaty that Ireland signed in 2018, United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. At a time when Ireland is building houses at historic levels it is shocking to see opportunities for independent living and accessibility being squandered and missed. Successive governments

have failed to deliver on its own commitments to pro- vide housing options that are accessible and adaptable, for people with disabilities, across our communities. For exam- ple, according to the National Housing Strategy for Disabled People 2002-2027, people with disabilities have the right to live independently with supports, but the strategy has not been implemented or funded ade- quately. For people reading this who have a disability or support a person with a disability, there is always hope when it comes to housing. Irish Wheelchair Association’s ‘Home Truths’ campaign is a time to refocus on accessible housing, figure out what you need and find the support you need to make a plan. The process may be slower and much harder than it should be, but there is support along the way. It is important to apply for social housing to be included on your local authority housing list. Your local authority will have those details. Irish Wheel-

chair Associations supports many of our members around housing applications as do many other disability organ- isations. Ask as many people for advice and help as you can. No-one can do it alone. It is also important that when our local politicians call to our doors in the coming weeks looking for our vote, that we raise issues of accessible hous- ing with them. What are they doing? How can they help? Access to independent living, with independent living supports and wrap-around services, is a right for disabled people who need it. Or what is the alternative? Three years ago a report from the Ombudsman found over 1,300 people in their thirties, forties and fifties who are living in nursing homes for elderly people, because of their disability and the lack of any wheelchair liveable accommo- dation for them. Independent living is a critical pillar of our society and our government and local authorities need to make this happen.

W orking with Irish and county, my colleagues and I regularly meet people who Wheelchair Associa- tion across Cork city

are living in unsuitable housing that is dangerous and damaging to their health. We meet young people who cannot figure out a plan for where they will live

when their parents get older. And we meet parents who are struggling to care for their adult children and are worried about the future. But what choice do they have? Finding housing that is ‘wheelchair liveable’ is impos- sible across Ireland, let alone in Cork. Today if you go onto any property website looking for wheelchair liveable accommo- dation in Cork you will find next to nothing. Yes a property might be accessible, meaning it is possible for a wheelchair to get in the front door, but it doesn’t mean a wheelchair user could live there; use the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom. This is why social housing is so vital for people with disabilities, because there are no private rental options there for them. Irish Wheelchair Associa- tion’s latest national ‘Home Truths’ campaign is hoping

Faxbridge, (SuperValu roundabout), Clonakilty Seán Woods BSc MSc MISCP Chartered Physiotherapist, CORU Reg. For appointments 087 474 6030 Or just drop in to book: Open Mon to Fri, 8am to 6pm – weekend availability also.

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