“Home care enables me to live a free and independent lifestyle, which means everything to me,” Redmond O’Hanlon told the audience at the inaugural Home and Community Care Ireland (HCCI) Conference in Dublin yesterday.
Redmond, a client of Home Instead Ballsbridge who lives with Friedrich’s Ataxia, was guest speaker at the Dublin event, which was organised by the representative body for home care companies in Ireland.
At the Conference, the HCCI unveiled a report on the planned statutory scheme for home care, urging the Government to “start to implement the principles of Sláintecare in Budget 2020”.
The report, titled ‘Providing more citizens the freedom to live at home’, followed extensive research into the home care sector and contained a number of recommendations on addressing the ongoing challenges associated with caring for an ageing population.
‘I go to football matches and enjoy the cinema’
In his address, Redmond echoed many of the findings in the report, where it was revealed that “70% percent of older people (aged 65+) said that the ability to stay in their own home in later life would give them independence; 71% agree it would mean they would be comfortable; while 70% believe that it would mean that they would continue to have their freedom”.
“It is very important to have good mental health and home care means I’m not stressed by the fear of being in a nursing home,” Redmond told the conference delegates.
“I’m able to live in my own home as I’ve had carers from Home Instead for more than 10 years who get me out of bed, wash and feed me every morning. I have a wonderful network of close friends and family who take turns to cook lunch for me each day.
“Every evening another carer gives me some supper and helps me to bed. During the day I live a free and independent life for 12 hours; I go to football matches and concerts and enjoy the cinema,” Redmond said.
“Resolving Ireland’s home care challenge will require a co-ordinated, whole-of-government response and engagement with stakeholders,” said Joseph Musgrave, the HCCI’s Chief Executive.
“HCCI is asking that the Government start to implement the principles of Sláintecare in Budget 2020 – the most vulnerable people of Ireland should not have to wait until 2021 to see improved outcomes within the home care sector,” said Mr Musgrave.
Other speakers at the conference included Seán Lyons, Associate Research Professor, ESRI; Brendan Courtney, who presented the RTÉ documentary ‘We need to talk about Dad’; former Minister Nora Owen, whose husband lives with dementia; Sandra Tuohy, Head of Operations & Service Improvement, Services for Older People, HSE; Liam Toland, Managing Director of Home Instead Senior Care in Limerick; and Jim Daly T.D., Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People.
‘Supporting people with care needs’
“This Government is committed to supporting people with care needs to continue to live with confidence, security and dignity in their own homes and communities for as long as possible,” said Minister Daly.
“The development of a new statutory scheme for the financing and regulation of home-support services is a key enabler towards achieving this aim. We need to ensure that those who need support in their home can access high-quality consistent care in a transparent and timely fashion and I look forward to engaging with the HCCI as we continue to develop the scheme.”
You can download the full report here.
Former minister Nora Owen, Joseph Musgrave, Chief Executive of the HCCI, Senator Marie-Louise O’Donnell and Redmond O’Hanlon at the inaugural HCCI conference on International Day of Older Persons.