As more nursing homes are facing the threat of closure, the Chief Executive of Nursing Homes Ireland, Tadhg Daly, has called for a €3500 yearly increase per resident under the Fair Deal Scheme.

With the increasing cost of living, energy costs, and staff shortages, the strain on smaller nursing homes is enormous, The Health Information and Quality Authority has warned.

Tadhg Daly said he is extremely concerned for the future of the sector. He added: “The Fair Deal Scheme, which is the primary funding mechanism for those requiring nursing home care, is not fit for purpose and has not kept pace with the current inflationary environment.”

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“What we’re looking for is an increase in the Fair Deal rate something of the order of €69 per resident per week,” he told Divetime.

The situation is pretty dire, Mr Daly stated.

“In the last two years, 14 nursing homes have closed and we have received notification in the last number of weeks of a further three closing their door this year. Ultimately it will impact on residents’ choice.”

Mr Daly explained that this is “hugely upsetting”, especially when long-term nursing home residents have to move.

He added: “We must remember that this is their home and many of them would have lived there for a long number of years. We know that people who move nursing homes, it does impact on their mortality. It’s hugely upsetting for everybody, not least the residents and their families.”

“It’s a situation that has to be carefully managed working with the regulator HIQA. You have to give a period of notice but invariably it’s about transferring the older person to another care setting either in the locality or somewhere further away.”

If the government work closely enough with the sector, Mr Daly believes a “sustainable model” could be found.

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