More than one fifth (22%) of all adults surveyed are planning to cocoon for the foreseeable future, according to the annual Home and Community Care Ireland (HCCI) Survey.
Home deliveries of shopping (62% for all adults, 72% for 65+ year olds), virtual social meetings with family or friends (61% for all adults, 66% for 65+ year olds), access to safe quality of life services such as hairdressing (46% for all adults, 55% for 65+ year olds), virtual medical consultations (43% for all adults, 50% for 65+ year olds) and home deliveries of medication (41% for all adults, 45% for 65+ year olds) were identified as important cocooning supports.
Joseph Musgrave, CEO, HCCI said: "The current nursing home centric-model is broken. COVID-19 has been to healthcare what the financial crisis in 2008 was to banking – a massive wake-up call.
"We need to get creative about how we better care for vulnerable people. This survey shows that people need more supports to live in their communities, and not just survive at home.
"We should ensure a closer integration of technology supports for all vulnerable people, and a more responsive, adaptive, home care service.
"Work stopped on the statutory home care pilot when COVID-19 swept onto our shores. Let’s get that back up and running, and look at an imaginative pilot scheme to test out new approaches."
Mr Musgrave added: "Home is proving the safest place to be with 66 cases of the virus recorded among HCCI members’ 20,000 clients at the moment.
"This low rate of infection is testament to the dedication of home carers, home care providers and the Irish people. Home really is the safest place to be."
‘Family’ (76%) and ‘health’ (59%) were identified as the two most important things in life by survey respondents – the latter an increase of almost 10% on last year’s findings.
Health is valued as even more important by those aged 65% at 72%. ‘Career’ was selected by just 2% down from 4% last year while ‘money’ was also down from 10% to 6% whilst freedom selected by 8% up from 6% last year.
When asked ‘What do you most value in your community’ most respondents (61%) identified ‘shops’ while ‘sense of community’ was also selected by a majority (52%) up 5% from last year.
For those aged 65+ ‘chatting to neighbours’ was identified as most valued at 65 percent up from 62 percent in 2019, shops (57% up from 44% in 2019) and sense of community (54%).
HCCI is calling on the Government to activate the home care pilot programme as soon as possible and establish a steering group for this scheme so that the home care service of the future can be developed.