Home Help crisis hitting most vulnerable the hardest.
John Curran Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Mid-West, has described as “cruel” the fact that so many people are waiting for home help hours to be allocated. The latest figures from the HSE reveal that 6,310 people were on waiting lists for home help services at the end of April. Deputy Curran said, “Over the past number of years we have seen the number of people waiting for home help hours increase significantly, but despite this, the resources have failed to meet demand leaving some service actually losing hours.
“In CHO 7 which covers Dublin Mid-West, in March 2018 there were 724 people waiting for home care support. Less than five months later that figure had risen to over 1,100 and the latest figures for March 2019 shows an increase of 530 people waiting to 1,254. This is an increase of over 70% in the space of one year. That is totally out of kilter with figures for each of the other CHO areas and I have asked the Minister to investigate what he acknowledged was an ‘unusual disparity’. “Families across this country are angry and frustrated with Fine Gael’s approach to home help. Instead of allowing people to live and be cared for in their own homes, they are forcing them into nursing homes and hospitals. This is in turn increasing the strain on our already overburdened hospital system.“The fact that more than 6,000 people are on waiting lists for hours shows clearly how strained the service has become. The Minister needs to clarify how many people will be affected by these proposed cuts, as there is no doubt that any reduction in hours will pushed an already stretched service to the brink. “I have met with many families who are at the end of their tether and deeply concerned that their loved ones will not get the care that they need. This is a deeply distressing situation for them and simply should not be happening. Home help services are essential, they must be maintained, and indeed increased. Any move to reduce hours further cannot be countenanced and measures must be taken to ensure that these home helps are protected into the future”, concluded Deputy Curran.