ALONE “The government needs to act fast to support Ireland’s aging demographic”

PRESS RELEASE

 

Charity responds to ESRI Report

 

Dublin, 26th October 2017

ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, welcomes today’s ESRI report which states that the demand for healthcare is projected to increase substantially with rapid growth and ageing of Ireland’s population. ALONE believes that this report creates an opportunity to plan and discuss the future provisions of healthcare.

 

Key findings in today’s report include:

  • The population of Ireland is projected to grow by between 14 to 23 per cent adding 640,000 to 1.1 million people;
  • The share of population aged 65 and over is projected to increase from one in eight to one in six;
  • Numbers of people aged 85 and over are projected to almost double;
  • Demand for health and social care is projected to increase across all sectors, with the greatest increases for services for older people;
  • Demand for home help care and for residential and intermediate care places in nursing homes and other settings is projected to increase by up to 54 per cent;

 

ALONE believes that right to home care is a major part of solving the impending demand on healthcare, as older people are being forced to remain in acute hospital beds due to lack of supports to go home.

 

By 2022 Ireland will be short 5,910 nursing home beds[1] which is why ALONE has also been calling on the government to look at Housing with Support models for older people so that they can age in the community. While Rebuilding Ireland’s target for this type of housing is 50 units, the demand is approximately 4,200 units nationally by 2020[2].

 

Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “With Ireland’s older population set to reach 1.4 million over the next 30 years, the state urgently needs to implement supports in the community for older people. Today’s ESRI report supports all those who work with older people and we hope that these findings will lead us all to plan better for the future.”

 

“ALONE is asking the government to prioritise the National Positive Aging Strategy and to allocate additional funding to meet the needs of our rapidly growing and ageing population. Prioritising the needs of our older people is something that we all need to take an interest in as inevitably we all grow older and the decisions we make now will impact us later.”

 

For those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable older person in the community, ALONE can be contacted on (01) 679 1032 or visit www.alone.ie.

 

ENDS

 

About ALONE

2017 marks 40 years since ALONE was founded. Since then the charity has supported thousands of older people to age at home. ALONE works with those who have issues with loneliness and social isolation, lack of services, poor health, poverty, homelessness or housing.  ALONE provides Support Coordination, Housing with Support, Befriending and Campaigning services to over 1,000 older people nationwide every week. ALONE’s services are quality approved and are delivered 365 days a year.

 

For more information contact:

Maree Rigney, Limelight Communications, maree.rigney@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 086 3587153

Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications, kathryn.byrne@limelight.ie, 01 668 0600, 085 233 6033

[1] HIQA Report 2015

[2] ALONE Research