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Age Action calls for urgent coordinated national response to looming homecare crisis

Published 14/04/2020

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(14 April 2020) Age Action, Ireland’s leading advocacy organisation for older people, today called on the Minister for Health to ensure there is a nationally coordinated response to manage the impact of COVID-19 on home care provision.

It is expected that up to 3,000 home care workers may be deployed to nursing home settings in the coming weeks to support the COVID-19 response measures which means that some people are being told that their home supports are being reduced or suspended.

Paddy Connolly, CEO of Age Action said, ‘We already have a home care system that is under-resourced and depends on the efforts of 195,000 family carers. Withdrawing home care supports from a system that supports hundreds of thousands of people in order to fill a gap in nursing homes for 31,000 people makes no sense and will cause a crisis in home care provision. The State needs to put in place adequate measures to protect and support all older people regardless of their location.’

Home care supports are health and social care services, administered by HSE staff or contracted providers, which help older people, with varying degrees of frailty, thereby supporting their choice and preference to remain living in their own homes as opposed to residential care.

Paddy Connolly cited concern about the arbitrary withdrawal of home supports without appropriate assessment or planning saying ‘We are aware of one situation where a couple, both aged over 70, both cocooning and both wheelchair users who had their full home support withdrawn with no assessment and no conversation with them.’

‘It is unacceptable that people are being left at risk and without information as their home care is withdrawn with immediate effect. It is causing unnecessary fear among people whose health is compromised and placing considerable strain on their families, leaving many people in an unsafe situation at a time of crisis’ Connolly said.

Commenting on the existing weaknesses in the provision of home care Paddy Connolly said ‘There is little value placed on both the care of older people and the frontline workers providing that care. The COVID-19 crisis has shown the disparity in how we value home care versus institutionalised care. It has laid bare the weaknesses in the provision of home care and highlighted the urgent need for Government to plan for an integrated care pathway which includes both care in the home and in residential settings’ he said.

 

 

ENDS

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Age Action Nominated as Finalists for the Good Governance Awards

Age Action were notified yesterday that they have been shortlisted as finalists in Category 4 of the Good Governance Awards. 

The Good Governance Awards recognises and encourages adherence to good governance by nonprofit organisations in Ireland. The award focuses on annual reports, examining how they demonstrate adherence to good governance. Category 4 is for organisations with an annual turnover of over €1 million and under €5 million. 

We are very proud to be recognised for the work that we do. Congratulations to our entire team at Age Action and to our fellow nominees; we're looking forward to the Awards on November 17th.

The other shortlisted organisations in Category 4 include BeLonG To Youth Services, Irish Hospice Foundation, The Ark, Dublin and The Care Trust

See Here for our Annual Report 2021 that was nominated.