‘Housing with Supports offers tangible alternative to nursing home care,’ says ALONE

The organisation made the comment in welcoming the Department of Housing’s latest Statement of Strategy

Dublin, 21st April 2021   ALONE, the organisation that supports older people to age safely and securely at home, has welcomed and is encouraged by the Statement of Strategy 2021 – 2025 released by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The spectrum of housing choices for older people urgently needs to grow from simple traditional independent family homes and/or high dependency nursing homes to a more varied and person-centred approach. ALONE advocates that all housing should use Universal Design and Age-Friendly Principles. Housing for older people should involve the older person in the decision-making process, be provided for mixed aged groups, be connected with local social, cultural and economic activity and have multi-disciplinary supports, all facilitating positive ageing at home. ALONE will continue to seek funding, identify sites and develop ALONE Housing with on-site Support Schemes.

ALONE has been canvassing for almost a decade around housing choices with supports and security for older people. ALONE agrees that having a framework will ensure a sustainable housing system in Ireland with a supply of good quality housing. We must in this plan address the issue how we provide safety and security of tenure to older people in private rented who are a very real risk of homelessness. In doing so we must encourage AHB and council to increase the number of houses for older people to meet demand. We can help address the need for housing for all age groups by addressing the needs of older people.

The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage have identified their second objective as supporting the delivery of 50,000 social homes with an emphasis on new builds. This relates directly to ALONE’s continued advocacy work towards the delivery of Age-Friendly Housing. These supportive plans will allow for a wider range of residential care choices available to older people.

Seán Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “ALONE believe that Department of Housing’s new Statement of Strategy is a step in the right direction but there is much more to be addressed and developed given the realities that come with an ageing population. We need to increase the range of housing options on offer to the older people and ensure that they are supported to age well in their own home or communities. Many of the older people we work with have entered nursing home care prematurely because they could not get the support to live independently.”

“ALONE have been developing our own Housing with Supports model alongside the Department of Housing and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage which will offer a real and tangible alternative to nursing home care and represents a massive saving to the State. Housing with Supports is a non-medical model of housing and care provision for older people, with onsite staff supports that allows older people to live with dignity and independence. This type of housing promotes active participation of the older person, uses age-friendly design, has 24hour on-site support, has multi-agency and multi-disciplinary supports and fosters strong connections with communities.”

Contact ALONE if you have concerns about your own wellbeing, or the wellbeing of an older person you know. Their National Support Line is available seven days a week from 8am – 8pm on 0818 222 024. Further information can be found on www.alone.ie.