Government policy is to support older people to live in dignity and independence in their own homes and communities for as long as possible and to support access to quality long-term residential care where this is appropriate. The Health Service Executive has responsibility for the delivery of services such as mainstream home help, enhanced home care packages, meals-on-wheels and day or respite care. The budget for these community services for older people in 2013 is €392 million. The HSE has committed to maintaining community supports at the levels planned for in 2012. This means that 10,870 people will be in receipt of home care packages, and that 10.3 million hours of home help service will be provided with 50,000 people receiving this service.
Following on from the special allocation of €35 million for mental health in Budget 2012, a further €35 million was provided in Budget 2013 for the continued development of community mental health teams for, inter alia, older persons and for mental health intellectual disability. In addition, funding is being provided to further advance suicide prevention initiatives and forensic services. Approximately 900 additional staff are being recruited to implement these measures. The vision for the Disability Services Programme set out in the Value for Money and Policy Review is to contribute to the realisation of a society where people with disabilities are supported as far as possible to live in the community, to participate to their full potential in the economic and social life of the community and to have access to a range of quality personal social supports and services to enhance their quality of life and well-being. In this context, support for community living means providing the range and type of individualised supports needed to enable each person to live in the home of their choice and be included in their community. The range of individualised supports provided by the health services to enable people with a disability to live in their own homes covers a diverse area, such as the provision of care, therapeutic supports and training.