The Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) today (9th January) welcomed the announcement from the Health Service Executive that new nursing home beds are to open from next week and home care support options are to be introduced. However it expressed concern that the decision to change the eligibility for housing grants could have an impact on whether people can fulfil their wish to live and die at home.
Most people want to die at home
While an IHF survey in 2004 found that up to two thirds of people wish to die at home, only 26% of people actually die in their own homes. More than seven out of 10 people die outside their homes, 43% in our acute hospitals. An IHF hospital audit in 2010 found that over 80% of people entered hospital via the A&E. It was estimated that up to one quarter of people could have died at home if the community supports were in place.
Access should be based on need
Sharon Foley, CEO of the IHF, commented: “We would be concerned at changes being made to any community support on the basis of age alone. Access to State supports should be based on need. At the very least there is now a lot of confusion around eligibility for housing grants for older people and people with disabilities who live at home. This can cause a lot of stress for vulnerable people. The Government must clarify what changes are being made to the three national schemes and particularly any safeguards there will be for people adversely affected by the changes.” Download Full Press Release >>>