Charity responds to proposed changes to Fair Deal Nursing Home Support Scheme
Dublin, 31st August 2017 ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, has welcomed proposed changes to the Fair Deal Nursing Home Support Scheme that would increase the disposable income of older people in nursing homes but highlights that there has been no follow up to a review of the Scheme carried out 18 months ago.
A 2015 review of the Fair Deal Scheme recommended supported housing schemes linked to appropriate community care services that could offer an alternative option to support older people to age at home, and the use of technology to facilitate and support new approaches to care for older people.
CEO of ALONE, Seán Moynihan said, “As the government’s policy is to support older people to age at home, we welcome this discussion on the issues surrounding the Fair Deal Scheme. However, we are still waiting on the suggested changes to the scheme that were published in the last government review a year and a half ago.”
He continued, “We all need to focus on alternative options to the Fair Deal Scheme including ways to support older people to age at home. The NHI survey in 2015 found 13% of those in long-term residential care are low dependency. In addition, an audit of St James Hospital at the time found that 24% of those referred to long-term residential care had low dependency and therefore could potentially benefit from supported living arrangements.”
ALONE believes that the energy needs to be focused on further housing choices and supports for older people in the community. Currently, 48% of people over 50 have housing condition problems and the charity has expressed concern at the insufficient and inconsistent housing adaptation grants. ALONE has been calling on the government to look at Housing with Support models for older people so that they can age in the community. The demand for this model is 4,200 by 2020.
Moynihan concluded, “Nursing Homes play a key role in the care of those with high support needs. However, with Ireland’s older population set to reach 1.4 million over the next 30 years, the provision of quality home care packages for older people is a necessity. ALONE believes that it is vitally important to have services and supports in the community as these are of equal value to older people as an increase in disposable income.”
For those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person in the community, ALONE can be contacted on (01) 679 1032. For more information about ALONE’s manifesto visit www.alone.ie
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, 01 668 0600, 086 3587153
Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications, email@example.com, 01 668 0600, 085 233 6033
 HSE Department of Health national indicators report 2016, page 89
 ALONE Research