“Nursing home care isn’t always the best option”
Dublin, 13th February 2015 ALONE has responded to Minister Lynch’s suggestion that fees under the Fair Deal Scheme be increased for new entrants to the scheme.
ALONE strongly believe that nursing home care is not always the only option and that there are alternatives that the Government are not considering, which are more cost effective and prefferable for many older people.
Sean Moynihan, Chief Executive Officer of ALONE commented, “The Government have long known that this crisis was going to get worse, in ALONE we have been campaigning for years on this very matter asking the Government to take action and look at alternative options, it didn’t have to reach this point”.
ALONE believe that nursing homes are not always the only option for people but that without alternative care options put in place this problem is going to continually increase and become unfairly and needlessly expensive for older people and the public.
Moynihan continued, “It is a very outdated model to put those who are not entirely dependent on full time care into nursing homes. Older people want to remain independent in their own communities for as long as possible and the government should be supporting them to do this by providing adequate primary care services, instead of cutting them”.
Where possible ALONE strive to keep older people living within the community by providing suitable accommodation, home supports and social outlets. This type of model makes sense to the individual, the community and the economy, and there are many other models worldwide that can be copied and adapted. ALONE would welcome a conversation with the Government around other cost effective solutions for housing and care for older people in the community.
Moynihan elaborated, “We need to break down the dependency on the private sector and on expensive options in the provision of care for our older people. In the last few years opportunities have been missed where the government could have looked at adapting current resources to provide relevant and effective care for our vulnerable older people”.
Moynihan concluded, “We are calling for the publication of the Fair Deal Review which is three years in the making, and we hope that it has a list of alternative options for the care and accommodation crisis among our older population”.
ALONE have conducted a cost comparison on the various options for caring for older people:
- 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