Author: Age NI
Published on 03 February 2011 12:00 AM
In response to the Independent Health Care Providers (IHCP) Manifesto launch today, Age NI calls for dignity, independence and choice to underpin any fundamental review of the social care system, and asks for positive political leadership to make it happen.
Anne O’Reilly, Age NI Chief Executive commented, ‘Not withstanding the fiscal environment at present, we believe that resources can be used more effectively to improve the health and wellbeing of older people in Northern Ireland. A major shift is required from more expensive institutional care to care at home: from treating illness to preventing it; from benevolent prejudice to combating ageism. This calls for longer term political commitment and a fundamental change in the way that health and social care service works.
‘There is strong social and economic research to support this need for change which demonstrates that supporting older people at home can result in delayed entry to more expensive hospital and institutional care. We must challenge the perceived burden and cost of older people on current system; a system we believe is in crisis with older people struggling with their care needs, many not being assessed or some having their services withdrawn. A review of the health and social care system is long overdue and must be addressed as a priority. At present, older people pay too high a price when the door is slammed shut at the very time they need support most. We must end the silo mentality that exists.’