A Fair Deal scheme for elderly at home

 

Sir, – Whatever has happened to the proposals to have a Fair Deal scheme for elderly care which has been talked about for the past 10 years? With the high quality of our housing many of our elderly could be cared for in their own homes, which they would prefer if a properly funded scheme was in place for home care.

It was announced recently in Co Donegal that a new 110 bed facility to be used mostly for elderly care is costing €37.8 million, that is €345,000 per bed space. That means with no interest it would take 14 years to pay back that capital cost at €25,000 per year. Add in another €40,000 wages per year to cover each resident, that amounts to €65,000 per year.

I feel that if a proper home care fair deal was in place, it would be less than half the cost of this residential unit. Granted, there are many people who do require long-term residential care, but there are many people long-term in nursing homes who need not be there if we had a proper scheme for home care.

The HSE and Government must look seriously at this owing to our growing elderly population and changed family work patterns. – Yours, etc,

CONAL SHOVLIN,

Ardara,

Co Donegal.