Louth TD Gerry Adams and Health Minister Simon Harris.
This week is the 13th annual National Carers Week which highlights the critical contribution carers make to people’s lives, families and to their communities.
Not the best week perhaps for the HSE to confirm to Louth TD Gery Adams that it has closed the applications for Home Helps hours and will reduce Home Support hours until next November despite there being more than 6,000 people on the waiting lists.
Adams has described the decision by the HSE to restrict new applications for Home Help and Home Support Hours as “deeply regressive and hurtful to the many families and carers who are dependent upon this crucial service.”
Research published this week by Care Alliance Ireland, in partnership with the eleven other Carers Week partner groups, reveals that many family carers continue to be unable to leave their own home and depend heavily on online supports for information, support and social connection. This affects many families in Louth.
Advertisement - continue reading below
“This difficult situation will be exacerbated by the decision of the HSE to stop the allocation of home help hours, and home support hours, to new applicants until November at a time when more than six thousand people, including citizens in Louth, are waiting for access to home care supports” Adams said.
“I have written to the Minister seeking detailed responses on the numbers of people affected in Louth by this decision.
“The impact of this on individuals, especially the elderly and disabled, and their families will be significant. It also will have a serious knock-on effect on the availability of beds for new patients in hospitals. Patients who could otherwise be cared for at home but cannot be discharged because of the lack of home help supports.
“This is also a substantial financial cost to the HSE. This is a serious backward step. The responsibility for this crisis rests with the government which has failed to provide the funding needed to deliver this service. Moreover, it was at odds with the principles of Sláintecare, where the focus is on shifting care from the acute sector to the community.”