State should roll back reliance on private nursing homes, says Minister
Charity criticises additional charges for services levied on residents in private facilities
The State should play a greater role in directly running nursing homes and reverse the current reliance on private providers, Minister of State for Older People Mary Butler has said.
The comments come as a charity supporting older people, Sage Advocacy, has criticised additional charges for services levied on residents in private nursing homes.
Mervyn Taylor, chief executive of Sage Advocacy, said a review of cases it had worked on had found residents were facing growing levels of debt over additional charges. “One resident was charged for gloves to stop them removing their incontinence wear,” he said.
“In another case a resident was faced with notice to quit because their family was unable to pay increased charges. We have also heard that some nursing home residents are being charged for religious services,” he said.
In some cases residents were being charged over long periods for items that could have been purchased at “a fraction” of the total cost of the charges, the charity said.
This included one case where a resident was being charged €85 a month for four years for an air mattress, which Sage Advocacy said would cost €300 to buy outright.
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