Active Retirement Ireland has released 'The Right To Remain' report ahead of its 2017 AGM, focusing on the outdated approach towards later-life care in Ireland, and the need for a viable home-care system that will not only lead to a healthier and happier older population – but also save the Irish government millions.
The report shows that more than four out of five Active Retirement members surveyed wished to age 'in place' in their own homes, versus an alarmingly low 1% who identified nursing home care as their first choice.
The report will be presented tomorrow at the Active Retirement Ireland AGM, which takes place this week in Mount Wolseley Hotel, Co Carlow.
As part of the survey, respondents outlined the primary factors they viewed as critical to ageing well in place. Access to services was ranked top, followed by financial stability in second place, and safety and security in third. Transport, standard of care and social inclusion also featured prominently.
In response to a question in which respondents were asked about their concerns in relation to growing old in Ireland, one respondent said:
"Unless you live in a city, access to services is very patchy. If you can't drive, or have someone who can drive you, it is impossible to get to appointments, social gatherings, etc. Because of the lack of jobs some are left on their own because families have had to leave Ireland and therefore do not have any family backup. The outlook is bleak indeed."
"While it may seem obvious that Irish older people would prefer to age in place than to move to a residential care facility, it is significant that only 1% of respondents would actively seek a nursing home setting," wrote Peter Kavanagh, Head of Communications and Public Affairs with Active Retirement Ireland in the report.
"What is worrying is that the Irish model of care is clearly driven by an outdated, custodial model that does not cater for the 99% of older people who would rather age as part of a socially inclusive community – be that in their own home or a dedicated setting such as Clúid Housing Association’s ‘Extra Care’ model or Dundalk’s Netwell Centre."
The report states that a "holistic approach to ageing" is required: "Investment in services, communities and infrastructure, as well as the financial and personal security of older people, will save the Irish government millions in the medium to long term."
To read the full report, click here