Why a Specialist Service?
Rapidly Ageing Population
By the year 2040, the percentage of people over 65 in the Republic of Ireland will double, with the number of people over 85 expected to rise fivefold (2011 census). As a consequence there will inevitably be an increase in disability and chronic disease among the elderly. Worryingly, the Irish Government fell well behind its European counterparts when it came to spending on the elderly. Figures show that Ireland’s recent government expenditure on old age was 9.6% of the total healthcare budget. This is less than half the EU average of 21.4%.
The Right Kind of Help, in the Right Way, at the Right Time
Because of cuts to home help and home care packages the elderly are subject to longer and longer waiting lists. Many of these people would benefit from the right kind of support and advice to increase rehabilitation potential, and may not even need long term care support. Indeed a report published in Ireland in 2016 estimated that over half of elderly people in long term residential care could be at home if the right community services were available.
Therapy services provided by the HSE often have lengthy waiting lists: 64% of those waiting for community occupational therapy services in Ireland were waiting for 3 months or longer; over half of these waiting for longer than 6 months (HSE performance report, 2016). During this time many people, especially the frail elderly, are at an increased risk of ill-health, further disability and falls.
Reducing Unnecessary Hospital Admissions
Studies have indicated that older people suffer a decline in their ability to self-care after discharge from the accident and emergency department. According to HSE statistics, nearly a third of those waiting in A&E departments across the country for longer than 24 hours were over 75 years of age (HSE performance report, 2016). The lack of specialist community services has been suggested as a key cause of the ever-rising demand for care from A&E units because of the rising number of older people with complex needs (NHS England).
Many older people wait unnecessarily in hospital due to lengthy community waiting lists. Research suggests that older people, and in particular those with a diagnosis of dementia, are more prone to prolonged hospital admission putting them at risk of developing hospital acquired infections and suffering a decline in functional ability. Discharge planning in the acute hospital setting is often fraught with red tape, when older people may be more suited to recovery in their own homes with the right community support.
Why Able Ageing?
…to maintain and increase independence thereby supporting people to live well in their own homes.
Reducing the need for home care
Occupational therapists are best placed to assess a person’s capacity to live independently in all areas of life. Most home care agencies do not offer comprehensive assessment of a person’s functional abilities by a qualified therapist thereby potentially recommending inadequate levels of expensive care packages. Able Ageing does not have affiliation to any care agencies therefore providing highly accurate and personalised professional advice.
In many cases unpaid families deliver the bulk of care affecting their own physical and mental health. Able Ageing aim to help reduce carer strain and offer peace of mind.
Home is where the heart is
…which is why we provide skilled intervention to reduce the likelihood of unplanned, unnecessary hospital admission and institutionalised care.
Research demonstrates that care costs can be reduced as much as 60% after using a specialist rehabilitative service.
No lengthy waiting lists
…thereby reducing the potential of a decline in functional ability and increasing safety in the home.