New report calls for urgent policy action to cater for care needs
A new report to be launched tomorrow (Thursday, 25 October 2012) finds that the number of older people needing long-term care is set to increase significantly in the years to 2021. It finds that that there will be an annual increase of 565 older people requiring residential or home care in Northern Ireland. If the ability of families to care informally is not sustained at its present high level, this increased need for formal care will be greater.
The report also highlights survey evidence of unmet care needs and the burden placed on informal caregivers. It concludes that the issue of care for older people must be urgently addressed to meet the projected rise in demand for long-term residential and home care.
The research funded by the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI) was carried out by researchers at Queen’s University Belfast in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin.
The report finds that by 2021:
- The number of people aged 65+ needing residential long term care in NI will rise by 4,270, up 45% from 2006.
- The extra demand for home care from statutory providers in NI will be 4,200, up 37%.
- Demand for informal care generally will increase by 11,000 in NI (26%).
The report is based on findings from a research project aimed at developing a predictive model of future long-term care demand in Ireland, North and South. The research examined current use of formal residential care and formal and informal home care by older people and developed a model for future needs based on the ageing population and changes in age- related disability.
Professor Davis Coakley, Co-Chair of CARDI welcomed the findings: “We are delighted to have funded this valuable and timely piece of research which highlights the important issue of catering for the long term care needs of our older people.”