Caring at any price
Cuts in respite care costs are estimated to save the Exchequer €25m in the next financial year. As a healthcare professional with experience in costing, brokering and managing packages of care both here and in the UK, I don't think that these cuts have been properly costed, thought through or that the potential impacts have been properly computed.
The average cost of a nursing home bed in the current climate is estimated at between €600 and €1,000 per week, or €31,200 to €52,000 a year – if just 480 home placements fail, resulting in full-term residential care for an older person for one year, the saving will be nonexistent!
For a person with severe or profound intellectual disability with complex needs or challenging behaviour, the annual cost of a residential placement may vary, but at the upper end it is not unusual for such placements to cost €120,000 – all it would take is 208 family placements to fall into crisis resulting in long-term residential care for the cost saving to be neutralised!