Sunday 27 May 2018

I owe my dad everything - the least we can do is to campaign for better care for our elderly

Broadcaster Brendan Courtney in a still from his recent RTÉ documentary ‘We need to Talk About Dad’.
Broadcaster Brendan Courtney in a still from his recent RTÉ documentary ‘We need to Talk About Dad’.

Brendan Courtney

This Government is failing older people every year. Not only that, they're planning to fail them. Every single person I meet has a story about how as a country, we're not doing right for old people or caring for them properly. We need to have a system that provides properly for older people, the very people who built this country, but we don't.

We know we have a deeply damaged healthcare system that needs to be fixed quickly. We're spending the same or sometimes more than other European countries on healthcare per head of population but we have far less to show for it; so there's a fundamental problem there that nobody seems willing to fix.

During the course of researching my RTÉ documentary 'We Need to Talk About Dad' after my father, Frank, had a stroke almost two years ago, I started looking into the whole issue of elderly care in Ireland. The programme documented my family's decision of whether to care for our father at home or take the very difficult step of placing him in long-term care.

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