A group of Ireland’s leading not for profit organisations and campaigners welcomed the launch by Minister for Health Simon Harris TD and Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly TD of a consultation process on a new statutory homecare scheme and encouraged members of the public to get involved.
A spokesperson for the group said, “This consultation process is a vital opportunity to develop a homecare scheme that meets the preferences of people to remain living in their own homes and that is equitable, person-centred and well-resourced. It is also an opportunity for people who receive care, as well as those who deliver care, to have their voices heard”.
Members of the public can participate in the consultation process until 31st August 2017 through http://health.gov.ie/blog/noticeboard/consultation-on-home-care-services/
The group is also calling on Minister Daly to provide further details on how the consultation process will operate and to set out a clear timeline for the introduction of a new homecare scheme.
In particular, the group has called for clarity on how people with disabilities, dementia, life-limiting illnesses, professional carers, migrant workers and family carers will be facilitated to participate in the process. While these groups can be hard to reach, their views and insights are crucial to shape a robust homecare scheme.
“It is also essential that this consultation process does not obscure the urgent need for additional funding for homecare. Thousands of people across Ireland are currently on long waiting lists for homecare that will support them to live and die well in the community, stay out of hospital and long-term residential care, and remain in their own homes with their families if that is their wish. As of July 2016, there were 2,256 people waiting for Home Care Packages and 2,097 people waiting for Home Help”, their spokesperson said.
Homecare is also vital in supporting Ireland’s 360,000 family carers, who provide the vast majority of care for people at home. The system relies heavily on these carers who provide in the region of €10bn worth of care every year and who need our support.
Ireland’s ageing population requires a significant annual increase in funding for homecare. This group is therefore calling on the Government to increase investment in homecare in Budget 2018 so that people can remain living well in their own homes for as long as possible.
This call is supported by the following organisations: