Hamilton Welcomes Age NI To Stormont

STRANGFORD DUP MLA Simon Hamilton has welcomed Age NI to an event at Stormont where it showcased its services for the elderly to MLAs. Age NI also launched their new Agenda for Later Life document.

Commenting after the launch, Simon Hamilton said, “It was great to be able to host Age NI’s visit to Stormont where they were able to showcase their work to MLAs from across Northern Ireland.  Age NI aren’t just a charity with an interest in older people.  They engage in a wide range of activities and enterprises like advice work, care services, supporting local groups, campaigning and making products, all aimed at assisting older people.  They also produce a number of leaflets and documents which can help older people and these are accessible form my advice centres.

“Our aging population certainly poses a challenge for us all in the future.  At present there are over 340,000 older people in Northern Ireland, accounting for nearly 20% of the population and rising all the time.  DFP figures show that the number of pensioners aged 85 or over in Northern Ireland has increased by almost a quarter in seven years with 28,700 people aged 85 or over in Northern Ireland today.  Whilst this aging population is positive and reflects advances in health services, pensioner poverty is on the rise and issues like fuel poverty and care are particularly problematic.

“The Northern Ireland Assembly has already done much for older people including introducing the Lone Pensioners Allowance, free public transport for the over 60s and the creation of an Older Persons Commissioner.  It is imperative – given the challenges posed by an aging population that MLAs continue to focus on this important and valued sector of our society”, he added.