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Policy Context

Key Policy Developments

Informed by programme experience, and in particular the lived experience of older people as surfaced through the ongoing city and county-based consultation processes, Age Friendly Ireland has been invited to develop a range of submissions for key policy documents both at national and local levels. Such submissions have reflected on a range of important issues which affect the lives of older people while also proposing solutions to respond to their articulated needs.

Ireland’s Programme for Government published in 2020 sets out a vision for an Age Friendly Ireland, with a strong focus on supporting housing options and health outcomes for older people. The programme commits to accelerating the implementation of the health reform programme Sláintecare, with its aim of providing the right care, in the right place at the right time. The Age Friendly Shared Service supports this vision of creating a society that is fully Age Friendly.


Some examples of where Age Friendly Ireland is contributing to Sláintecare across various actions are:

  • Through the Healthy Age Friendly Homes Programme, a new co-ordination service that helps older people to access the supports and grants which enable them to remain living in their own home and avoids transitioning to residential care
  • The development of guidance resources on Age Friendly Hospitals and Primary Care Centres
  • Contribution to research on the built environment of long-term residential care
  • Organising consultation so that older people’s voices are fed into the National Clinical Programme for Older People, health and wellbeing initiatives and other health services
  • Delivery of telehealth initiatives and promotion of digital technologies that support the older person
  • Working with national and local partners to support awareness and understanding of dementia to enable the ongoing participation of people with dementia in their communities
OPC Meeting

In relation to the Programme for Government’s mission for Housing for All, the Age Friendly shared service supports the objective of having a range of options to enable older people to live independently. In this regard, there is significant work taking place in local authorities across the country in developing Age Friendly homes with Universal Design features that support ageing in place. Age Friendly Ireland has contributed extensively to this area with research and resources for rightsizing, technical guides for Age Friendly housing, and guidance for planning authorities.  Age Friendly Ireland will also contribute to the upcoming review of the National Planning Framework to ensure that an appropriate approach to population ageing is embedded.