Onchan MHK Julie Edge is hoping the April Tynwald sitting could kick start a debate around how caring for the island’s elderly population will be funded.
Ms Edge’s motion is for a General Debate on funding for nursing care, residential care, and care at home.
The issue of funding for care services is one which has been debated several times throughout this administration, in the same way it has been considered by previous administrations, everyone accepts something needs to be done, but no one seems sure what that is.
Speaking to Gef, Ms Edge said she felt the time was ‘appropriate to see what progress has been achieved by the Council of Ministers in this administration’.
She added: ‘I was involved in a working group where good progress was made but the government didn’t come forward with a report. I believe work was ongoing into future funding models but it appears to be another victim of a serious issue for the island that has been lost in the “Covid World”. I don’t agree with people having to lose their homes completely to be cared for in their later life when they have contributed.’
Ms Edge said that the policy decisions of previous administrations were ‘questionable’, saying she believed the closing of Glenside, ‘without adequate provision for replacement in the East of the island was premature’.
The Onchan MHK said the island needs to have funding options for services, with a particular preference for people staying in their own homes as much as possible.
Ms Edge said: ‘I feel we need to look into the options to provide extra-care and services in individuals homes, which has to be far better for the individual and more cost effective for the public purse. Should we increase carers allowance to a more realistic benefit e.g £300 a week, for families who wish to care for their elderly at home, but can’t always afford to give up work to do so – is this more beneficial than the expensive care system. The gov needs to publish modelling examples and consult effectively, the issue is not going away.’