“The provision of quality home care packages should be a right for all older people”
ALONE have welcomed Minister Helen McEntee’s comments that she wants to extend the Fair Deal nursing home scheme to home care packages. The Minister Responsible for Older People addressed the issue of home care packages following last week’s news that a 92-year-old woman has been in hospital for almost 300 days due to a lack of funding for home care packages.
ALONE has been calling on the government to increase home help hours in line with demand to ensure that older people are supported to age in the community. The charity believes that investing in home care packages is a major part of solving the hospital trolley crisis and overcrowding in emergency departments, 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 said, “We are glad that Minister McEntee acknowledges the urgency of the situation. Repeated studies have demonstrated that ageing at home is the first choice of older people and their families. Home help hours are a much more cost effective and person-centred way of supporting people with medium support needs to age at home rather than moving them into the nursing home system. A home care package would only cost around €400 a week while an acute bed costs €7,000 a week.”
He continued, “The provision of quality home care packages should be a right for all older people. This is an escalating issue as Ireland’s older population is rapidly increasing and is set to reach 1.4 million over the next 30 years.”
Moynihan concluded, “The right to home care packages has received support from all government parties and we believe that prioritising community care would be a great break through for the heath service in Ireland. We look forward to working with Minister McEntee and her colleagues to look at how we can enable a greater number of older people to age in our communities.”
For those who have concerns about their own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of a vulnerable ALONE can be contacted on (01) 679 1032 or visit www.alone.ie