The provision of quality home care packages for older people is a necessity.
Response to case of 92-year-old woman in hospital for almost 300 days.
ALONE have expressed their disappointment in the HSE following the 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 is 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.
Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said, “The number of home help hours has been cut by 1.58 million since 2010. In that time, the number of older people in the state has increased by 18% . This case is a clear example of how the system is failing our older people. This elderly woman has been cleared by her doctors to return home but cannot do so because the necessary home care package needed to cover her additional care at home is not available.”
“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 keeping this lady in hospital, taking up an acute bed, is costing €7,000 a week.“
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. In 2015, the HSE lost 225,250 bed days due to delayed discharges and this figure is expected to reach 183,000 in 2016.
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 is set to reach 1.4million over the next 30 years, the state’s statutory obligation to provide long-term residential care must be extended to community care. The provision of quality home care packages for older people is a necessity.”
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 or visit www.alone.ie