‘Underfunded’: Limerick TD hits out as 472 on waiting list for home care

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Email:

fintan.walsh@limerickleader.ie

Maurice Quinlivan received the new data through parliamentary questions

Maurice Quinlivan received the new data through parliamentary questions

HUNDREDS of vulnerable people in the Mid-West, who want to live independently in their own homes, have been left waiting for home care packages provided by the State.

According to figures released by the Department of Health, a total of 472 people in Limerick, Clare and Tipperary are on a waiting list for medium to high support services.

Sinn Fein TD Maurice Quinlivan, who received the new data through parliamentary questions, said home care packages and home help hours are some of the most vital services provided by the HSE.

“Not only do they allow for older people to stay in their homes, but they are also incredibly important for those with ailments or disabilities.

“Home care delivered in the home is the preferred form of care for most people and their families, and older people, those with disabilities, and their families are continuously calling out for more home support services in order to meet the need that exists.  My office and my advice clinics are contacted on a daily basis by constituents who are waiting for vital home supports,” Deputy Quinlivan stated this week. 

He said that the Fianna Fail-supported Government has taken a decision to “underfund the service to the point that there are 6,118 people waiting for a home support service across the State.

“Getting older or having a disability should not leave you invisible to the State. The State must ensure that older people and those who have a disability can live at home with respect, with dignity, and as comfortably as possible.

“We need to make sure our older people and those with disabilities who need home support are cared for with the dignity and respect they deserve, and to do that we need to ensure that home support services are funded correctly in order to meet the requirement of those people and families who need these services,” the Limerick City TD added. 

Home support services assist some of the most vulnerable in society, including elderly people and those with disabilities.

Home help supports include a long list of therapies, including occupational therapy and physiotherapy.

The HSE said that the main reason for increased demand relates to the increase in demographics of older people in the state.

“This increase is set to continue each year. Through supporting people to remain at home, there is a reduced risk of people having to choose residential care as an option, though residential care remains an important option to be available for those who require it.”

Bernard Gloster, chief officer of HSE Mid-West said that as the number of over-65s increases, so does demand for home care packages.