65+ year olds willing to contribute 21% towards the cost of a home care package

At our first annual conference today (Tuesday 1 October), which is International Older Persons Day, Home and Community Care Ireland (HCCI) published a report into the planned statutory scheme for home care.

The average financial contribution that people (aged 18-65+) would be prepared to pay to fund a home care package enabling them to remain living in their own home is 19 percent, according to our first public Survey.  This increases slightly to 21 percent in those aged 65+.

The HCCI Survey also revealed that 70% percent of older people (aged 65+) said that the ability to stay in their own home in later life would give them independence; 71% agree it would mean they would be comfortable; while 70% believe that it would mean that they would continue to have their freedom. The research shows that people (aged 18-65+) value ‘a sense of community’ (46%), ‘shops’ (44%) and ‘good quality facilities’ (41%) most in their own community, while people aged 65+ years of age rate ‘chatting to neighbours’ (62%) as most valuable to their quality of life.

The conference, which was attended by representatives from across the home care sector including the Government, the HSE, Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), NGOs and home care providers, revealed unique insights into home care, how it affects people’s lives and critical elements necessary for the future success of the service.

Speakers at the event included Joseph Musgrave, CEO, HCCI; Senator Marie-Louise O’Donnell, who hosted the event; Seán Lyons, Associate Research Professor, ESRI; Brendan Courtney (who presented the RTÉ documentary ‘We need to talk about Dad’); former Minister Nora Owen whose husband lives with dementia; Sandra Tuohy, Head of Operations & Service Improvement, Services for Older People, HSE; Liam Toland, Home Instead; and Jim Daly T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Health with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People.

Jim Daly T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Health with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People spoke at the event:

This Government is committed to supporting people with care-needs to continue to live with confidence, security and dignity in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. The development of a new statutory scheme for the financing and regulation of home-support services is a key enabler towards achieving this aim. We need to ensure that those who need support in their home can access high-quality consistent care in a transparent and timely fashion and I look forward to engaging with the HCCI as we continue to develop the scheme.

Joseph Musgrave, Chief Executive of HCCI, said:

Home care in Ireland is at a critical inflection point. We welcome the Government’s commitment, and in particular Minister Jim Daly’s dedication, to introducing a statutory home care scheme by 2021, a development that will place the service on a legislative setting for the first time. Resolving Ireland’s home care challenge will require a co-ordinated, whole-of-government response and engagement with stakeholders.

The home care service in Ireland is under unprecedented pressure; as of June 2019, 7,217 people are on the waiting list for home care. With one of the fastest growing and ageing populations in the EU this demand is projected to continue growing by 120% between 2016 and 2031.

Accessing support in a person’s own home – a safe harbour from the burdens of everyday life – should not itself become a burden. The benefits include improved quality of care, a more efficient and fulfilled workforce, and significant cost-savings to more expensive acute and residential care settings.

HCCI is asking that the Government start to implement the principles of Sláintecare in Budget 2020 – the most vulnerable people of Ireland should not have to wait until 2021 to see improved outcomes within the home care sector.

Redmond O’Hanlon, aged 64, who lives with Friedrich’s Ataxia and is a wheelchair user also addressed the conference. Redmond has completed a parachute jump each year for the past five years in aid of Ataxia Foundation Ireland:

It is very important to have good mental health and home care means I’m not stressed by the fear of being in a nursing home. I’m able to live in my own home as I’ve had carers from Home Instead for more than 10 years who get me out of bed, wash and feed me every morning. I have a wonderful network of close friends and family who take turns to cook lunch for me each day. Every evening another carer gives me some supper and helps me to bed. During the day I live a free and independent life for 12 hours; I go to football matches and concerts and enjoy the cinema. Home care enables me to live a free and independent lifestyle which means everything to me.

You can access HCCI’s report into the statutory scheme for home care, Providing More Citizens the Freedom to Live at Home, below.

2019 HCCI Statutory Home Care Scheme Report
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