ASI calls for more dementia-specific care homes
The Irish government published its 'Review of the Nursing Homes Support Scheme, A Fair Deal' on July 19th, and a number of organisations have published responses to it. One of these is the Alzheimer's Society of Ireland (ASI), which sees some positives in the review but is concerned about the future of people with dementia living in care homes.
In the review, the government promised that there would be no change in the contribution rates that people in nursing homes must pay. The ASI is happy with this announcement, as well as the decision to provide an increased amount of community care for people suffering with dementia who live at home.
With an estimated 16,000 to 16,500 people with dementia - over 34 per cent of the 48,000 people in Ireland suffering from the condition - living long-term in a care home, it is important to see that there is government support. However, the ASI believes there is more that can be done.
Despite the large portion of dementia sufferers living in care, it is estimated that just five per cent of all people in Ireland with the condition are housed in an appropriate setting. This is due to the lack of dedicated dementia-specific care units, and the government's review did not address this.
Tina Leonard, the ASI's head of advocacy and public affairs, said: "More dementia-specific home and community supports would enable many people with dementia to stay at home for much longer and continue to make a valuable contribution to society, which is a far better outcome for people with dementia."
She added that better community care would be more useful to dementia sufferers than putting them in a residential care home that is not set up to deal with their specific needs. However, the review has not been clear on what community provisions it will offer to sufferers.
"Against a backdrop of a predicted trebling of dementia prevalence in a generation, and in the region of two thirds of all people in long stay care currently living with dementia, we call for greater clarity now on the planned provision of long term care for people with the condition now and in the future," said Ms Leonard.