ALONE expresses concern over increase in reports of nursing home abuse
Dublin, 14th April 2016 ALONE has expressed disappointment over the increase in reports of abuse in nursing homes. According to HIQA’s Overview Report of Nursing Home Inspections in 2015, released today, there was a 20% increase in reports of abuse in nursing homes in 2015.
Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented “The HIQA standards have been in place since 2009 so it is very concerning that we are still seeing an increase in reports of abuse. It is extremely distressing to read reports of some of our most vulnerable citizens being neglected and abused in our nursing homes. These are places that older people should feel safe and secure in the later years of their lives. It is especially worrying to hear of these reports now, considering the recent convictions for abuse of vulnerable people in care homes. We must reflect on what this says about us as a society that this is allowed to continue and there is not a national outrage.”
He continued, “The state is paying millions each year for nursing homes to provide care for our older people, and yet we know that some of these centres are not delivering on this promise. We are calling on the government to increase the levels of monitoring to ensure standards are implemented and vulnerable service users are safeguarded. We also need to ensure that if a claim of abuse is made, that appropriate and decisive action can be taken. It takes a huge amount for someone to complain about their nursing home care so we are concerned also about what is not being reported.”
ALONE has been campaigning on this issue since the first nursing homes were closed due to poor standards of care in 2010. They are asking the government to implement plans for Ireland’s ageing demographic, including increasing the standards in nursing homes and supporting older people who wish to age at home through enhancing and developing services in the community.
Sean Moynihan concluded, “In Ireland we have a long history of institutional abuse where we have failed to protect our most vulnerable people in care settings. These reports highlight the importance of keeping older people in their community, with a wider support network, linked in with family and friends. In ALONE we strongly believe that older people should be supported to age at home for as long as possible.”
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.