I thank the Deputy for his question. As the Minister of State with responsibility for older people, I am sure that every Deputy's priority is to ensure that people live active, healthy, happy and fit lives in their communities as they get older and that they participate in their communities for as long as possible. Where people need support, we must be able to provide it.
The Government is committed to enhancing the quality of life of older people, supporting them in their homes and communities for as long as possible and, when required, providing access to quality long-term residential care. We are all living longer. The CSO figures predict that, in the next 30 years, the number of people aged 65 years or over will double and the number living into their 80s will quadruple. There will be a considerable increase in the demands placed on our services.
In 2016, the HSE has a core provision of €324 million for home support. An additional €20 million has been allocated to maintain the 2015 increase in service levels to 10.4 million home help hours, 15,450 home care packages, including 130 intensive home care packages, and 313 transitional care beds. A further 60 clients with dementia will be supported with co-funding from The Atlantic Philanthropies under the national dementia strategy. From working with the Meath Alzheimer's association, I know that there will be a significant increase in demand in this regard. The programme for a partnership Government commits to increasing funding for home care packages and home help year on year.
The nursing homes support scheme, with a net budget of €940 million, is expected to support 23,450 clients on average per week, representing an increase of 649 clients per week on last year's figures. The programme for Government commits to increasing resources in order to maintain current waiting times for funding approval. This year, that waiting time will not exceed four weeks compared with early last year when it was almost 11 weeks.
I am confident that, with continued economic growth, we will be able to expand services for older people based on the effective use of existing resources and additional funding.