Almost 600 residents of nursing homes have been forced to move to new accommodation in the last year after their facility closed, Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) has said.
More nursing homes will close, on top of the 18 that have ceased operating since last September, unless funding and cost issues are addressed by Government, the representative body for private care-home owners has warned.
Speaking in advance of NHI’s annual conference in Kilkenny on Thursday, chief executive Tadhg Daly warned of an “unprecedented crisis” in the sector.
Hospitals are struggling to discharge patients back into the community via nursing home care because of the closure of homes, thereby exacerbating hospital emergency department overcrowding, he claimed.
“Given the Government’s continued failure to introduce an appropriate support mechanism to address the very considerable increase in costs, nursing homes are continuing to be squeezed and more will move from survival mode to closure in the months ahead,” Mr Daly forecast.
The provision of nursing home care places in an area should be linked to demographics, just as the number of Dáil seats in a constituency is determined by population, he said.
NHI is also calling on the Government to bring stakeholders around the table so sustainable strategies for the provision of quality long-term residential care can be identified.