Seán Crowe T.D. has described a waiting list of 6,200 vulnerable people as “a queue too long” and another example of the lengths this government needs to go in order to create a truly inclusive society.

Deputy Seán Crowe said: “Home support services such as home care packages and home help hours are some of the most important services that the Health Services Executive (HSE) provides for vulnerable people who want to live an independent life. Not only do they allow for vulnerable people to stay in their homes, but they are also incredibly important for those with life changing conditions and impairments. “Clearly as many of us are thankfully living longer and the number of over 65s in the State grows, the challenge this presents society will increase. “This challenge isn’t being met or planned for in any meaningful way and the current crisis where 6,200 citizens are waiting for home supports is a queue too long.

“It is vitally important that funding for home support and the number of people employed by the HSE to deliver the supports increase to meet that demand. “Unfortunately, the reality facing families and individuals is that the Minister for Health Simon Harris and his Cabinet colleagues have not given the necessary financial and human resources to ensure the HSE can deliver the home supports that are needed. “Currently, there are 6,285 vulnerable people waiting for home support across the State. “Some counties have been absolutely left behind with a staggering 674 people waiting in Galway, 623 are on waiting lists in North Dublin, while there are 233 people left waiting in Dublin South West. “This situation is a serious cause for concern because such waits for care can contribute to the escalation of illnesses, older people can have accidents, and it also causes delays in discharges from hospitals when there are no home supports.

“Growing older or having a physical or mental impairment should not leave you invisible to the State and vital supports should not be a postcode lottery dependent on where you happen to live. “The Government needs to ensure that older people and all of those who through no fault of their own, have a disability, can access the life changing the home supports they need “Surely to have truly inclusive all society citizens should be facilitated and supports given that will enable them to live at home with respect and dignity as they grow older.”