Residential homes in Derry are not full because people do not want to enter residential care, the Western Trust’s director of older people’s care said.
Alan Corey Finn made the comment at the monthly meeting of Derry City Council’s regional services committee on Tuesday when Trust officials briefed councillors on the Transforming Your Care plans.
Mr Corey Finn said the Trust’s three residential homes were currently operating at a 60-70 per cent occupancy rate.
“We are seeing a reduction in demand even with the closure of Nazareth House and a reduction of 60 beds. Our residential homes are currently at 60 to 70 per cent occupancy and a number of residents are there on a temporary basis so in reality it’s more like 50 per cent.
“There are challenges and people are exercising choice. People are taking as much care as they can at home because they don’t want to enter an institution. When people get very dependent and enter care they require nursing home care.
“People are entering care much later and when they do they do not fit the criteria for residential homes,” he said.
Mr Corey Finn said the Trust would continue to provide care as required. “There are people who will continue to need care and we will need to continue to do that,” he explained.
The director also told councillors that no decisions have been taken on the future of residential homes. “We have a growth in the number of people with dementia in our city so there is greater demand for that type of accommodation. We don’t have enough. I would like to see more resources for care of that nature.
“Other homes have seen a reduction in demand,” he told the meeting.