Maria Pierce1, Sophia Kilcullen2, Mel Duffy2
1Independent Researcher, Dublin, Ireland
2Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland
Background: The UN convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) and
key Irish policy emphasises the rights of people with disabilities to live independently in
the community. There are more than 1,000 younger people (<65 years) with disabilities
residing in nursing homes in Ireland, despite concerns about the appropriateness of this
placement for them. Little is known about younger people with disabilities in nursing
homes or the appropriateness of this placement.
Methods: Anonymised Common Summary Assessment Record (CSAR) forms for 47
younger people completed as part of the Nursing Home Support Scheme (NHSS) application
process were obtained from one Local Placement Forum. Quantitative data on the
forms was analysed aided by SPSS. Qualitative information was analysed using thematic
Results: Data shows that this sample of younger people applying for the NHSS ranged
in age from 21–64 years; mean age: 53, married (24%), living alone (25%). Two-thirds
were referred from hospital settings. Those applying presented with a wide range of
health conditions/disabilities. One-third had multi-morbidity. Polypharmacy was high.
Dependency levels (BI) were high/maximum for 61%. Prior utilisation of community
supports was low. Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) recommendation was recorded for
40% of applicants, all of whom were recommended for nursing home placement.
Surprisingly, those with lower dependency were more likely to have a MDT recommendation
recorded. Individuals with poor communication ability were less likely to have their
care setting preferences discussed with them.
Conclusions: This small-scale study provides information on a sample of people under
65 years applying for support under the Nursing Home Support Scheme. The findings
will be valuable to policymakers in reviewing the placement of younger people with disabilities
in nursing homes, and identifying actions needed to ensure that people with disabilities
can access the appropriate community-based supports needed to enable them live
in the community.