The report from Trinity College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast estimates that by 2021 the number of people aged 65 and over needing residential long-term care will rise by 12,270 in the ROI, an increase of 59% since 2006, and 4,270 in NI, up 45%. An additional 23,670 older people in ROI will need formal home care, up 57% since 2006, with the demand in NI rising by 37%.
The report also highlights that the number of people requiring formal residential or home care will increase further if informal carers are unable to provide the same amount of care as in 2006.
Professor Charles Normand, one of the research team from Trinity College Dublin, said: “This research shows that although older people are living longer and in better health, Ireland will face substantial extra demands for care of older people every year as the population ages. If care in the community and residential care are not developed appropriately, the pressures on the acute hospital system will be unsustainable.”
As well as an increase in care services, the report also calls for consideration to be given to the types of care services provided, so they can reflect wishes of older people, particularly the desire to live independently at home for as long as possible.
The research, funded by the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI) and conducted by the Centre for Health Policy and Management at Trinity College Dublin and the Centre for Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast, aimed to develop a predictive model of future long-term care demand in NI and ROI.