Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Helen McEntee TD, announced on Monday that a consultation process is to be launched, with a view to establishing a new statutory homecare scheme. The process will begin in the coming months. Meanwhile, a review by the Health Research Board (HRB) of the way in which homecare services are funded and regulated in four other European countries, which was commissioned by the Department of Health in 2016, is to be published shortly.
Minister McEntee said “My priority is to ensure that our older people get the best care possible. For many that care can be provided in their own homes, surrounded by the people and communities that they love. Unfortunately, as a country, the only statutory scheme we have in place at present to care for our elderly is the Nursing Homes Support Scheme, a Fair Deal. I am determined to change this and to establish a new statutory homecare scheme”.
MS Ireland welcomes this announcement as we are aware that some people with MS, sometimes as young as in their 40s, are having to avail of nursing home care because they cannot access the care and support they need to remain living in their own homes. MS Ireland would also urge the Government to ensure that all affected groups, including people with long term illness and acquired disabilities, are offered the chance to participate fully in this consultation process as this issue does not only affect older people.