Deputy Charlie McConalogue says legislation being brought forward by his party will offer older people the opportunity to be cared for in their own home, rather than have to go into residential care.
The Nursing Home Support Scheme (Amendment Bill) 2016 would allow for the provision of a home care package to people who qualify for the Fair Deal scheme, if the package is less costly to the State than the long term residential care being offered to them.
Deputy McConalogue said the majority of older people want to stay in their own home for as long as possible, but at the moment the Fair Deal scheme only applies to residential care.
“The number of home help hours that are being provided falls far short of what is needed, putting severe pressure on families, yet despite this the HSE Service Plan for 2017 doesn’t contain provision for any additional home help hours.
“It is widely recognised by health professionals that outcomes for older people are better if they are able to remain their own homes, supported by home helps, and their families. But currently there is no choice. Fair Deal only applies to residential care. The Fianna Fáil Bill will open this scheme up to allow people the option of receiving care at home.
“Financial barriers should not be used to force older people out of their homes, and into nursing homes. Long term residential care should only be necessary when all other avenues of assistance have been exhausted. On average, it costs three times as much to care for someone in a nursing home than in their own home. So it makes perfect sense, for the State, to ensure that older people can stay at home.
“This Bill will ensure that older people get the best and most suitable care available. It will give them options and will allow them to remain in the safety and comfort of their own homes. I would urge all parties to support this Bill and ensure its passage through the Oireachtas”, concluded Deputy McConalogue.Tags: