"Over-75s are going to double over the next 10 years," Mick Kearney on an ageing Irish population
"There is a massive need for home care."
From his experience as Director of Home Instead Senior Care, Mick Kearney expects to see an increase in demand. Speaking to Tadhg Enright on The Architects of Business, in partnership with EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™, he discussed how Ireland can improve elderly care.
"The population is ageing. The over-75s are going to double, I think, over the next 10 years so there is a massive need for home care," the former Irish Rugby team manager said.
When dealing with people in need of care, Mick said it's important to ensure a good relationship with their carer. Getting the balance between practical helping around the house and keeping the client happy is a top priority.
"We try and match up the caregiver to the needs of the older person. We try and match their personality so that if, for instance, we have a client and they're interested in the theatre, we try and get a caregiver who might be interested in the theatre," he said.
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The challenge of loneliness
Mick, who was an EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist in 2009, said caring for older people is largely about keeping clients happy on a personal level. Making sure they have a good quality of life and never feel lonely is therefore of major importance. This is something everyone can certainly get involved in with their daily lives.
"Loneliness is probably the biggest single challenge, because I think when people are lonely they stop eating well, they don't go outside, and it's a really difficult situation."
"If loneliness could be, I suppose, brought to the forefront of people's minds and actually think about a neighbour down the road who is living on her own. She is lonely. I can promise you, she's lonely... just call in and say 'listen, would you like a cup of tea?"
"I think it could make a massive difference, I really do," he said.