Press Release

Minister Callely launches report on social gain and quality of life

The Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, Mr. Ivor Callely, TD, launched the report Home from Home at an event in the Marino Institute of Education on Friday 3 October 2003. Speaking at the event Minister Callely said:

“I am very pleased to launch this study, Home from Homeoutlining the views of residents on Social Gain and Quality of Life. I was particularly glad to financially support the publication of this report because the issue of quality of life in care settings is one about which I feel very strongly.”

“We all know that the preferred option for older people is to stay in their own homes and, where necessary, be cared for there. The vast majority of people over 65 continue to live in the community; however, some 5% of people aged over 65 reside in continuing care settings. It is of vital importance that they receive the medical treatment and services they need, as well as having a quality of life that respects their dignity and independence to the maximum extent. This is what we all want for our relatives and ourselves.”

The report, published by the organisation Age and Opportunity follows a study taken in three care centres for older people. The study is concerned with the residents perceptions of their quality of life. It is concerned not with medical and nursing care issues, but with the social dimension of their lives. The study focuses on the concept of ´social gain´ introduced by the 1994 Health Strategy.

“The approach taken in this study, consulting with residents about how they perceive their quality of life is one I support very strongly. I believe that this consultative approach should be at the heart of any attempt to improve standards in care services.”

“This study will make a very valuable contribution to efforts to improve quality of life for older residents of care settings. It has sought to define the term ´social gain´, a term whose importance is acknowledged in health policy documents, but it is not one that has been easy to measure or to define. This report brings us closer to being able to measure social gain as it applies to the individual older person.”

“I wish to congratulate Age and Opportunity, their consultative committee and all who participated wholeheartedly in the research which form the core of this study” concluded Minister Callely.