Irish Examiner view: Inhumane treatment of younger people living in nursing homes

Ombudsman Peter Tyndall said younger people living in nursing homes have “wasted lives” and are not getting proper support from the State
Irish Examiner view: Inhumane treatment of younger people living in nursing homes

Ombudsman Peter Tyndall said it was inappropriate for people with a disability under the age of 65 to live in nursing homes. Picture: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

A report published on Wednesday, May 5, by Ombudsman Peter Tyndall is a shocking indictment of our care for younger people in nursing homes. 

The ombudsman has said that younger people living in nursing homes have “wasted lives” and are not getting proper support from the State. 

Many did not give informed consent to be placed in care long term.

Following complaints to the Office of the Ombudsman, Mr Tyndall carried out 28 visits with people directly affected; they told him they had no option but to live in nursing homes due to a lack of State support.

Among the cases highlighted in the report is that of 48-year-old Mark, who has been in a nursing home for nine years after suffering a stroke. 

He said he did not recall filling in the form for the Nursing Home Support Scheme and that he was not given any option other than a nursing home.

There is no good reason why the funding system is biased towards institutional care. 

There is a statutory scheme for nursing home support, but no statutory scheme to support people to live in the community, even though it is among the promises made in the current Programme for Government.

Mr Tyndall said it was inappropriate for people with a disability under the age of 65 to live in nursing homes. That is putting it very mildly. 

Forcing anyone to live in institutionalised care when there are viable alternatives is not just inappropriate, it is inhumane.

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