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Monday, 5th November 2018

Government must fund proper home care for the elderly – Munster

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Deputy Imelda Munster.

Sinn Féin TD Imelda Munster has called on the government to address the matter of insufficient provision of home care packages for the elderly, in light of a report published this week by the Care Alliance Ireland, which outlined shocking deficiencies in service provision at present.

 “The report made for stark reading” Deputy Munster said. “Up to 6,000 people are currently waiting for homecare, and the average waiting list is more than three months.”

“People who are deemed to be ‘low priority’ can be left waiting for over two years.”

“Another shocking statistic from the report is that people are receiving up to 18% less home care service than their assessed need.”

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“There are cases of this all over Co. Louth. There are cases of a half an hour of care being provided, despite assessments showing that a higher level of support is required.”

“Four million additional hours of home care are needed to cope with the ageing population, yet home care hours were reduced by 1.5million during the recession and have yet to be fully reinstated.”

“The government needs to face up to this reality. They made no provision in the budget. If the government is going to boast about the importance of independent living in people’s own homes, it needs to back that up with services.”

“The HSE appears to be struggling with this. Some areas can’t even provide information on the length of time between the submission of an application and the provision of service. The Minister needs to ensure that the HSE coordinates this properly, and that the scheme is funded properly.”

“I have written to the Minister asking him to address this matter, and I will be pursuing it with him.”

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