Wednesday 26 April 2017

Courtney vows to fight on for better services for older people

Brendan Courtney highlighted his family’s plight on RTÉ
Brendan Courtney highlighted his family’s plight on RTÉ

Rory Tevlin

TV presenter Brendan Courtney said that any plan to improve home care for the elderly is much needed and a positive step.

The fashion designer brought his family's battle to get care for his father to national attention with the touching RTÉ documentary 'We Need to Talk About Dad'.

Brendan's father Frank was left paralysed when he suffered a stroke almost two years ago. He has been receiving palliative care in a hospice since June 2016.

He told the Irish Independent that a report recommending a means-tested system for home care for elderly people "sounds good".

He said: "Our old people gave us our education, our freedom, our rights. They don't need our respect, they deserve it.

"We don't look after our older people in this country.

"We have a two-fold society that is anti-ageing. Age is a dirty word.

"[This proposal] sounds good. I have not seen it.

"Any statutory introduction is a good thing."

Brendan got a huge reaction to his family's plight following the documentary.

While he said he never wanted to be a "banner waver", he insisted that it was "easy" to fight for the rights of elderly people.

He said: "I am not going to let this drop. I am going to stay on it. It's a long game, trying to change the law is difficult.

"This is a responsibility. When it is the right thing to do, it's easy."

Brendan added that he is determined to continue his fight for improvements to how people are cared for as they reach the latter stages of their lives.

Read more: 'We're the first generation to face decision on care for our parents' - RTÉ's Brendan Courtney

He said that while those involved at Government level are well intentioned, there is much work that needs to be done still.

"I do think that (Older People Minister) Helen McEntee and (Health Minister) Simon Harris have good hearts but this is a process," he said.

"If my dad had cancer he would have been taken care of, but because he had a stroke it is different.

"My next step is to meet with all the party heads to make sure that when the election comes that they include elderly care and home care on their manifestos."

Irish Independent

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