Home First Campaign

Do you know that over 1/3 of older people in nursing homes could live at home if they were supported to do so?

This shocking statistic was the basis of ALONE’s Home First Campaign which we ran in June 2015

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ALONE believes that older people should be given the supports they need to live in the community as it makes sense to the individual, the community and the taxpayer.

Here are the facts:

The number of nursing home residents in Ireland is 35% greater than the EU average. Older people are moving into nursing homes earlier than any other country in Europe, costing the Irish taxpayer millions.

  • Over 1/3 of older people in nursing homes have low to medium support needs.
  • The average length of stay in an Irish nursing home is 3.7 years while the average length of stay in UK nursing home is 2.1 years.
  • There has been a 62% increase in the number of residents with low support needs in nursing homes since 2004.
  • Approximately 6% of over 65’s are in residential care compared with just 4% in the UK.
  • There has been a 20% decrease in the number of residents with high or maximum support needs in nursing homes since 2004.

In ALONE we believe that while nursing homes play a very important role in the care for our older people, they should be seen as a last resort rather than the first option. Nursing homes cost more and the majority of older people want to age at home, yet the government are not investing in supports to help people to age at home. With this campaign we are calling on the government to implement the commitment made in the Programme for Government for the supply of more and better care for older people in the community.

Monday, 15th June 2015. Pictured at the launch of the ALONE Home First Campaign were; ALONE Residents Florrie and Ben. Picture Jason Clarke Photography.

Result of the Campaign to date:

  • Secured widespread coverage on National and Regional Media
  • Initiated a private members debate on the issue with the help of Tom Flemimg, Independent TD
  • The campaign was brought to the attention of An Taoiseach on Leader’s Questions
  • We met with Minister with responsibility for older people, Kathleen Lynch to discuss the issue with her

This is the first step in a long campaign to ensure that the government develops a strong national of Housing with Supports to give older people choice around accommodation and care options as they age.