33% of people do not need to be in a nursing home.

With over €1 billion being spent on the Fair Deal in Ireland and 33%[1] of people not needing to be in an nursing home, the Government is spending €330 million on people that could be looked after at home at a fraction of the cost.

At present 4.5% of the older population in Ireland live in long-stay residential care. That is 40% higher than the EU average of 3.2%. Of those residents 33% are assessed as either a low or medium dependency which means they could easily be cared for in the community. This means that with an average weekly cost of a nursing home at €778, there are substantial savings to be made if a big percentage of these people can be kept at home.

A further 1% of the population are in hospital, with evidence that for many of them their discharge is delayed because of the absence of Respite, Rehabilitation or adequate home-care funding. An acute hospital bed costs upwards of €7,000 per week.

With the prediction that the number of people 75+ to double by 2021, it makes it even more important that the Government needs to shift valuable resources into more cost effective community and home care services.

The Home Care Association propose a fresh approach to supporting older people to remain in their own homes, where substantial savings could be achieved compared to the cost of nursing home and hospital care for many people who do not need to be in those residential facilities and who would be much happier to live a more independent life in their homes.

About the HCA

Representing 50 members across Ireland, the Home Care Association (HCA) is the trade association representing professional home care providers in Ireland, who directly employ, train, Garda vet, supervise and insure caregivers so as to provide a quality service to clients.

For Information, log on to www.homecareassociation.ie. Or call Ed Murphy 087-2306230

[1]Health in Ireland Key Trends 2010http://www.dohc.ie/publications/pdf/key_trends_2010.pdf?direct=1

Figure 4.3 – Low and Medium Dependency Residents