Urgent investment in home care needed

By June Shannon Policy News   |   1st Oct 2018

Lack of access to home care creates major difficulties for stroke survivors

Home care services coupled with early supported discharge are key to enabling stroke survivors live fulfilling lives post stroke, that is why the Irish Heart Foundation has joined a group of charities and not for profit organisations, to call for “urgent investment” in home care services in Budget 2019.

While the group, which also includes Age Action, Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, The Irish Hospice Foundation, the Irish Motor Neuron Disease Association and the National Women’s Council of Ireland, to name but a few, welcomes Government plans to establish a statutory home care scheme by 2021, it stated that people who needed home care and their families could not wait that long.

The organisations also noted that spending on nursing home care in 2018 was 2.5 times more than spending on home care for the same period with some €962 million spent on Fair Deal as compared to €408 million on home care.

Spending on nursing home care in 2018 was 2. 5 times more than spending on home care for the same period

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In a statement the group noted that pending the introduction of the statutory scheme, interim measures were urgently needed to address “the home care crisis” which it said was seeing thousands of people stuck in hospitals or forced into residential care. If appropriate care was provided, the group stated, these people could return to or stay in their own homes.

Most people coping with the effects of ill health and disability want to remain living in their own homes. This includes a large number of older people and those with long-term progressive or terminal illnesses. As a society we are failing to provide these people and their carers’ with the level of support they need, the group stated.

According to the group, “The difference that appropriate home care can make to a person and their family cannot be underestimated — it can support people to live well in the community, to stay out of hospital and long-term residential care, and to remain in their own homes with their families throughout their lives. We are calling on the Government to urgently increase investment in home care in Budget 2019 in line with Government policy to provide the majority of care close to or at home.”

The group has called for an additional €100 million investment in home care in Budget 2019.

Research published in 2016 found that more than half of older people could remain in their own homes instead of going into long-term care if more home support services were available.

Recent research has also shown that almost half of home care recipients felt they were getting insufficient home care support.

"The Irish Heart Foundation believes that investment in home care in Budget 2019 is needed so that people affected by ill health and disability, including disability caused by stroke and chronic heart conditions, can remain at home for as long as possible,"

Kathryn Reilly, Policy Manager, Irish Heart Foundation

Commenting Ms Kathryn Reilly, Policy Manager with the Irish Heart Foundation said, “With our ageing population we are seeing increases in chronic conditions such as stroke and heart failure which require a significant annual increase in home care support. The Irish Heart Foundation believes that investment in home care in Budget 2019 is needed so that people affected by ill health and disability, including disability caused by stroke and chronic heart conditions, can remain at home for as long as possible.

“In advance of the statutory scheme being developed, Budget 2019 must ensure that provision of home care supports is restored and increased to keep pace with the ageing demographic, and demand for services.”

 

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