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International & National Principles, Rights and Responsibilities of Older Persons

National Statements - Charters of Rights for the Elderly in Ireland


The Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the National Federation of Pensioners' Associations adapted the principles set down in the 1982 UN International Plan of Action on Ageing as the basis for promoting economic independence and full participation of the elderly in the social, cultural and political life of the community. It proposed campaigning actively for the following rights which will ensure that the elderly can live in conditions of freedom and dignity:

For further information, contact:

National Council for the Elderly
Corrigan House
Fenian Street
Dublin 2
Ireland FAX: 353/l 676 5754


  • The Right to live independent, active and full lives without discrimination on grounds of age.

  • The Right to an adequate income, substantial enough to provide a decent - standard of living.

  • The Right to equity in taxation. Provisions in the income tax code relating to the elderly should be regularly revised.

  • The Right to adequate, secure and suitable living accommodation in the community. A range of housing options to be available to the elderly including sheltered housing, purpose built flats, voluntary housing associations and controlled private rented accommodation. Subsidies and grants should be provided to encourage families to keep elderly relatives in the family environment.

  • The Right to a proper Nursing Homes Service for the very frail and physically incapacitated. All Nursing Homes should be subject to statutory regulations to guarantee proper treatment of patients, including professional nursing care.

  • The Right to hospitalisation and medical services. These services to be provided through a comprehensive public health programme based on a positive commitment to the health of the elderly. Home nursing and public health nursing services should be expanded. Hospital and medical services impose a heavy financial burden on many elderly persons not entitled to medical cards. This situation should be remedied.

  • The Right to a properly funded home help service providing for the care of the elderly and organised in co-ordination with local community care services.

  • The Right to participate in formal and informal adult education.

  • The Right to proper pre-retirement facilities including paid time-off for retirement planning courses, flexible working hours, job-sharing and early retirement.

  • The Right to participate in and be represented on appropriate bodies dealing with matters concerning the elderly.

  • The Right to protection against violence. Local Community Alert Programmes which can be of assistance to the elderly, particularly those living alone, should be developed.

  • The Right to travel and recreational facilities providing opportunities for self-expression, personal development and fulfillment.