ALONE responds to latest HSE figures
Dublin, 16th August 2017
ALONE, the charity that supports older people to age at home, is calling on the government to increase funding for homecare following the report that 90,000 bed days have been lost in the hospital system so far this year because of delayed discharges. This is according to HSE figures provided to Fianna Fáil health spokesman Billy Kelleher.
ALONE believes that investing in home care packages is a major part of solving the increase in delayed discharges, as older people are being forced to remain in acute hospital beds due to lack of supports to go home.
Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE, commented, “We agree with Billy Kelleher’s comments today that older patients are not being supported and given access to appropriate step down care. Studies show that 50% of older people waiting for, or sent to, nursing homes from hospital wished to remain at home and possibly could have done so, demonstrating the absolute need for there to be an increase in the home care budget to provide options for the older population across the country.”
A home care package would only cost around €400 a week while keeping an older person in hospital, taking up an acute bed, can cost up to €7,000 a week. ALONE have conducted a cost comparison on the various options for caring for older people
- The cost of an acute hospital bed is between €800 and €900 per day
- The cost of a nursing home bed per day is between €100 and €200
- The cost of home help 3 times a day is between €50 and €70
- The cost of ALONE housing with supports is €34 a day
Moynihan continued, “This comparison demonstrates that there is an urgent need to properly resource and plan for the housing and care options for our older people. Aside from the fact that home care is just a fraction of the cost of hospital care, older people deserve the support they need and want when being discharged from hospital.”
Moynihan concluded, “Nursing Homes play a key role in the care of the very old 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.”
The latest census numbers from 2016 show that females over the age of 65 in Ireland is up 16.7 % from 2011 while that of the male population is up 20%. Those over 65 are almost three times more likely than average to be in an acute hospital bed and will spend an average of 8.7 days in hospitals, while those over 70 years old will spend an average of 10.87 days.
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, [email protected], 01 668 0600, 086 3587153
Kathryn Byrne, Limelight Communications, [email protected], 01 668 0600, 085 233 6033