Fair Deal review: Nursing home operators warn action needed

Age action welcomes pledge not to increase contributions from nursing home residents

Fair Deal review: Fianna Fáil warned that Government pledges on the scheme should be treated with scepticism. Photograph: Getty Images

Fair Deal review: Fianna Fáil warned that Government pledges on the scheme should be treated with scepticism. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Private and voluntary nursing home operators have said the Fair Deal review published yesterday cannot be left to gather dust. Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI), their representative organisation, said doing nothing would see older people failing to access nursing home care and languishing in hospitals.

Tadhg Daly, NHI chief executive, said: “This long-overdue review is welcome and outlines critical challenges facing Ireland in providing nursing home care. In tandem with long standing evidence, it recognises the considerable growth in requirement for nursing home care in coming years, stating there will be a requirement for an additional 9,000 persons to be supported by the Fair Deal scheme.”

Fianna Fáil warned that Government pledges on the Fair Deal scheme should be treated with scepticism. The party’s spokesman on Dublin, Senator Darragh O’Brien, said: “The Government has said that there will be no change in the rates of contribution asked of participants. Are they just referring to the 80 per cent of income currently sought? Or are they also ruling out any change in the 22.5 per cent maximum asset contribution based on the value of participants’ homes after they die?”

Review of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme

Announcement welcomed

It also welcomed the emphasis on increasing the provision of community care, but noted that there was a lack of detail about how to do this. It stated: “In recent years there has been a 44 per cent increase in the number of older people in nursing homes categorised as ‘low dependency’ by the HSE.

“More home and community supports would enable many of these people to stay at home longer. That’s a better outcome for the older people themselves and it would help to reduce the cost of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme.”