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Relationship based care is outcome based

Feb 04, 2020
One of hum-wrightmanity’s greatest achievements is the increased longevity we enjoy today. Advances in medicine, housing, sanitation and technology have increased our life span by many decades. A hundred years ago, Irish male life expectancy was 57 years, while it was slightly higher for females at 58 years. Now life expectancy in Ireland is eight decades, and increasing still. 

As people stay fitter and healthier for longer, they contribute more to social, economic and family life. As more people age, so communities, business, government, families and the healthcare sector must change to meet the needs of a larger cohort of older people. 

The home care sector must examine different models of care that will meet a larger, more diverse group of older people. Relationship-based care is one such model. Relationship-based care is person centred, providing autonomy and flexibility in service for the client. Relationship-based care is out come based, meaning the service user decides upon the goals of their care plan, in consultation if desired, with health care professionals and family members. 

Relationship-based care is preventative and aims to keep the service user healthy and independent, while addressing acute needs. Relationship-based care is not focused on the requirement of the care provider to deliver a set of care tasks therefore recognises that care needs can and will change day by day and over time.

"Relationship based care is outcome based, meaning the service user decides upon the goals of their care plan, in consultation if desired, with health care professionals and family members.”

Training and development Relationship-based care can require a broader range of skills and services from health care workers, depending on the goals set by the client or their family. For example, to maintain healthy brain function and reduce the risk of poor mental health, there is an increasing body of evidence showing the benefit of socialisation and cognitive stimulation. Hence a client living with cognitive impairment can benefit from home-based memory programmes. In this scenario, Home Instead’s CAREGivers would engage the client with crosswords or discussions on current affairs, and orientate with diaries, checklists and whiteboards. Such an approach requires investment in CAREGiver training and development, which is why we are delighted to launch the Home Instead Senior Care Academy. Blending webinars, self-learning and classroom learning, the Home Instead Senior Care Academy is open to our 4,000 CAREGivers across Ireland. The Academy’s Dementia Care Training is an accredited City & Guilds programme which provides a specialised foundation for ensuring Home Instead’s dementia care practices remain best-in-class.

Statutory home care scheme Currently in Ireland, the HSE provides home support services to those who clinically qualify for them. Home Instead Senior Care is proud to be an approved provider of HSE home support services. The average home support service provides one hour of support per day, which typically focuses on helping people with their personal care needs.  

“To maintain healthy brain function and reduce the risk of poor mental health, there is an increasing body of evidence showing the benefit of socialisation and cognitive stimulation on. Hence a client living with cognitive impairment can benefit from home based memory programmes.”


Despite an increase in State funding for HSE homecare, provided for in the 2020 budget, it is likely that waiting lists for this service will continue to rise. The Government has also committed to develop a statutory home care scheme giving citizens the right to home care, in the same way that citizens currently have a right to long-term nursing home care. There is a huge opportunity for Ireland to introduce a sustainable, person centred relationship-based model of care. 

The Government has stated that a pilot of statutory home care will occur in 2020 and that the scheme will launch fully in 2021. Home Instead Senior Care’s mission is to enhance the lives of older people and their families, and we are excited by the winds of change in our industry. With a national network providing nurse-led services in every county in Ireland, Home Instead is honoured to help so many older people remain living in their own homes. We look forward to enhancing the lives of more seniors in Ireland in 2020.

Michael Wright 
Director of Public Affairs
Home Instead Senior Care