ABSTRACT: Recent health policy emphasises the involvement of the consumer and carer in health and social care issues. Demographic projections predict a rise in the number of elderly people in Ireland and the number of elderly people with a mental illness. The identification of gaps in service provision should result in appropriate planning for this group in the future.
The aim of the study was to assess carers' opinions of services for the elderly mentally ill in the Limerick area.
A questionnaire was sent to the carers of patients referred to the Psychiatry of Old Age service. Information was gathered on satisfaction with existing services for the elderly. Carers were also asked to identify which services they felt they needed.
The overall response rate was 51%, but the response rate for individual items varied. Both formal and informal services for the elderly are underused. The need for long-term care places was highlighted and carers wished for more information and emotional support.
This study highlighted the aspects of the service that carers value, which should help guide future service development.
Irish Journal of Medical Science 170(4):239-43. · 0.58 Impact Factor