Lack of funding for dementia home-care in Budget 2017 is foolishly short-sighted - Kathleen Funchion TD
Speaking in the Dáil this evening on the need for increased funding for services and supports for people with Dementia and Alzheimers disease, Sinn Féin TD for Carlow/Kilkenny Kathleen Funchion said the lack of ring-fenced funding for dementia home-care in Budget 2017 is foolishly short-sighted.
Teachta Funchion outlined her party’s budget priorities to support people with dementia to remain in their homes with their carers.
Teachta Funchion said:
“International best practice recommends that dementia specific care should be domestic like and small scale with facilities catering for no more than about 10 people. Unfortunately, many facilities across this state fail to comply with those principles. Often, the preferable option as a result, is to live at home with one’s own family or relatives.
“We are told that government policy supports this approach. But cuts to home help, housing adaptation grants and cuts to carers’ supports do not echo. The reality is the consequences of those decisions have pushed families unwillingly into long-term residential care. This is wrong and needs to be reversed.
“Our party’s alternative budget proposals for 2017 identified housing adaptation as a measure to be further implemented for those with specific health needs. We committed to an increase of grant schemes by 50% through the allocation of an additional €15.75 million. This would particularly benefit people with dementia and their carers, and support the choice to remain living in their own homes.
“Ultimately, it is within the state’s interest to support this type of long term strategy – that invests in people being as self-sufficient and independent as possible, should that be their choice.
“Community-based care has the potential to reduce the number of older people requiring nursing home care which the state spends the bulk of its funding on.
“The lack of ring fenced funding for dementia home-care in Budget 2017 is foolishly short-sighted. We know that the majority of those 55,000 people affected by dementia prefer to live at home in familiar surroundings. They deserve to have that choice.
“Our party supports the call for adequate resources to ensure full implementation of the National Dementia Strategy and the development of a revised and reformed strategy that prioritises dementia.”