June 2012: HCCI co-chair responds to

Seanad Report on the rights of

older people

Speaking today (13 June 2012) following Minister for Older People Kathleen Lynch address to the Seanad in response to the report on the rights of older people, co-chair of Home and Community Care Ireland (HCCI), Michael Harty said, Home and Community Care Ireland welcomes this timely debate on the rights of older people and the spotlight it shines on the home care sector.

The home care sector must be regulated to ensure the highest standards of care are provided. Clear policy and regulation will enshrine older people's legal right to care in the community and in their own homes. Regulation must apply to everyone providing care, both private and public. This type of regulation does not currently exist and is crucial to ensuring the highest standards of care.

The way in which funds for older people are distributed between residential care and home and community care must also be examined as there is a clear economic benefit for older people to stay in their own homes as long as possible. This is also in line with their own preference; staying at home for longer means greater levels of independence and personal comfort, as well as reduced costs to themselves and the exchequer.

There also needs to be greater transparency and accountability to ensure responsible allocation of spending and also to make sure the state is getting the maximum return on its investment in this vital area of care.

Older people deserve the right to choose to stay at home and be cared for with dignity and respect. Research has shown that their quality of life is much higher when they are cared for within their own community. The right conditions, including comprehensive regulation of the home care sector and transparency around funding, must be put in place to ensure older people in Ireland receive the quality of care they so deserve.

About Home and Community Care Ireland

Home and Community Care Ireland (HCCI) is a representative body for private home care organisations in Ireland with the primary objective of promoting the highest standards of care in a cost-effective manner and improving the quality of life of all its recipients. It is a body with an all-island constituency footprint, which cares for thousands of people annually, provides employment across the country, and represents a cost-effective alternative for those in need of care who wish to stay in their own home.

HCCI promotes the highest standard of training and development of both individuals and organisations which provide home care in line with industry best practice. It was set up in June 2012 following a merger of the Home Care Association and the Professional Institute of Care Providers.