New scheme aims to help older people stay in their own homes

Programme designed to avoid premature admissions to long-term residential care

Sláintecare has identified helping people to live autonomously as an important part of the health system into the future. File photograph: Getty

Sláintecare has identified helping people to live autonomously as an important part of the health system into the future. File photograph: Getty

 

A programme that will allow at least 4,500 older people to stay in their homes has been launched.

Healthy Age Friendly Homes, which will be in nine local authority areas over the coming two years, is being provided as an alternative to hospitalisation or nursing homes.

Older people will be helped using local co-ordinators and will be assisted with appropriate supports and services.

A local co-ordinator will case manage a support package for each person referred to the programme.

The programme is being introduced in Cork County Council, Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, Galway County & City Council, Limerick City & County Council, Longford County Council, South Dublin County Council, Tipperary County Council, and Westmeath County Council.

Healthy Age Friendly Homes, funded by Sláintecare, aims to enable older people to continue living in their homes or in a home more suited to their needs.

The long-term aim of the scheme to support the avoidance of early or premature admission to long-term residential care and to allow older people to live at home as long as they can.

Sláintecare has identified helping people to live autonomously as an important part of the health system into the future.

Sláintecare’s executive director Laura Magahy said “the timely, safe access to care and the promotion of health and wellbeing” is a key goal”.

She said: “This innovative new programme will deliver on this goal by supporting older people to live in their own home and communities, for as long as possible, and avoiding the premature transition into long-term residential care.”

Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Mary Butler said the Government is “fully committed” to support older people to continue living at home.

“The Healthy Age Friendly Homes Programme being launched today, which is funded by Sláintecare, is a very important part of delivering on this policy,” she said.

Minister of State for Local Government and Planning Peter Burke said provision for the housing needs of older people will be included in the Government’s forthcoming Housing For All policy scheme.