Easing means test rules would enable people in need of care to be looked after in own home – MacSharry

‘Funding for supports to allow older people stay at home best value for money and the option people and their families would choose.’

Sligo News File.

A change in the means test would enable people in need of care to be looked after at home. So claims Sligo TD Marc MacSharry who has said the current programme is costing the State around €1,000 weekly in fair deal costs or €1,000 daily for an acute bed.

These costs, he said: “could be vastly reduced if proper supports

Marc MacSharry TD

were put in place to allow people be cared for at home.

“Funding to allow older people stay at home provides not only the best value for money but is also the option that most older people and their families would choose.”

He stated that last week he questioned “the Secretary General of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection at the Public Accounts Committee, on whether any research had been conducted on the potential benefit of loosening or relaxing the means test for the Carer’s Allowance, which, together with the provision of a medical card, some home help hours and perhaps a housing adaptation grant, might help to afford people the dignity of staying at home. Remarkably he admitted that the matter had never been investigated.”

 

MacSharry said he was now pressuring the Minister of Health, the Minister for Employment Affairs & Social Protection, and the Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform “to come together and explore the possibility of coming up with a package of supports designed to assist older people who wished to be cared for in their own environment.”