Tuesday 24 October 2017

'Fair Deal reforms welcome, but not enough' - Courtney

Brendan Courtney
Brendan Courtney

Sean O'Grady

Brendan Courtney has praised proposals to reform the Fair Deal scheme to ease the cost of nursing home care for pensioners - but says it's not enough to fix the problem.

Health Minister Simon Harris and Older People Minister Jim Daly are in favour of reducing costs.

Nursing home residents currently contribute around 80pc of their income towards nursing home costs while it is hoped this will be brought down to 70pc.

Presenter Courtney, who filmed a documentary called 'We Need To Talk About Dad' which followed his family's efforts to find adequate care for his father Frank after he suffered a stroke, believes statutory home care is the answer.

"It's great. I have spoken to Simon Harris on many occasions about it. The Fair Deal is not the answer. It's opening it up to home care.

"Reducing the costs is a welcome addition but statutory home care is the answer. Older people should be entitled to home care after 65, irrespective of who they are," he said.

After researching care for elderly people while filming the documentary, Courtney believes the funding is there to make significant changes.

"We care for our children, kids get children's allowance, why can't we care for our older people as well? That was the main body of my work in the last year," he told the Irish Independent.

"Seeing if the funding was there and it is, we're just spending it in the wrong ways. The will is there now because we are all living older."

Courtney was speaking at the launch of Irish Heart's focus on stroke prevention for over 40s.

Today marks the beginning of a month-long awareness campaign supported by the HSE and focuses on preventing strokes among men and women over 40.

Research has shown as many as 2,000 working-age people are affected by strokes every year in Ireland, with 60pc of over 45s having high blood pressure.

Irish Independent

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