herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

Editorial: Treatment of aged in Emergency Departments is a disgrace

Liam O’Halloran with his mother Rose O’Halloran, the 102-year-old lady from Clondalkin who spent 26 hours on a trolley in Tallaght Hospital.
Photo: Arthur Carron
Liam O’Halloran with his mother Rose O’Halloran, the 102-year-old lady from Clondalkin who spent 26 hours on a trolley in Tallaght Hospital. Photo: Arthur Carron

THAT one 101-year-old woman was forced to spend more than 24 hours on a trolley in a hospital emergency department is a disgrace.

That two were forced to endure such conditions is simply beyond belief.

Yet that is the case. In the past week details have emerged of two elderly patients who were subjected to this treatment, one at Tallaght Hospital and the other at University Hospital Limerick.

That such a situation could occur twice in a number of days should be a source of national shame.

No one doubts that many of our EDs are malfunctioning.

Stories of patients being treated on trolleys for hours and days are not new.

Yet there is something deeply upsetting about the fact that these two elderly women had to endure such ordeals.

Reviews are underway in both cases. But these incidents, trolley crisis or not, should never have occurred.

We should hang our heads in shame.

 

A home of our own

DOES the Irish preoccupation with home ownership show any sign of abating?

On the face of it, it seems not. A new survey reveals that a quarter of our 25 to 34-year-olds are moving back in with their parents in order to save for a deposit on a house.

Their parents may not mind though – the same survey indicates that a third of prospective buyers feel pressurised by their family or friends to get on the property ladder.

The Central Bank’s 20pc deposit rule has made it harder for first time buyers but home ownership is still a top priority for many.

That said, some 70pc of us believe that Irish people’s expectation of owning their own home is unrealistic.

Perhaps we are slowly adopting a European attitude towards renting.

But the habit of having our own place seems a hard one to break. So it’s hello mum and

dad

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