Home Help

  • The number of vulnerable people waiting for home help support around the country has soared to around 7,200.

    In Mayo 341 people are waiting for the essential service, 285 in Galway, 153 in Roscommon and 230 people in Sligo-Leitrim.

    That’s according to today’s Irish Independent.

    The HSE told the paper that the number of people assessed, prioritised and waiting for new or additional home help services nationally is around 7,200.

    That is a rise of just under 900 since April, adding to pressure on the health service.

    The HSE says the demand for home support continues to grow and "the main reason is the increase in our older population."

    According to the HSE, home support hours are "continually prioritised and allocated based on people's needs and the resources available".

    It said that, as of June, an extra 240,000 hours of care had been provided compared to the same period last year.

    The statement acknowledged that "waiting times are too long".

  • The timeframe from when home help hours are allocated to a client, and when they're implemented, should be no longer than one month.

    That's according to Mayo Fianna Fail Senator Keith Swanick, who raised the issue of home care supports in the Seanad yesterday with Junior Minister Finian McGrath.

    The latest HSE figures show that, while some 53,000 people are benefitting from home help, there are currently 7,300 people on the waiting list for the service.

    Senator Swanick, who's also a GP in Belmullet, also questioned the complaints procedure in place for those who are unhappy with the standard of care being provided, and claimed some clients are being told to "put up or shut up" or they may lose their home help hours.

  • A Mayo Senator has raised the issue of home help hours and packages with the Oireachtas Committee on Health.

    Erris based Sinn Fein Councillor Rose Conway-Walsh says there are 6,450 people assessed and approved for home help and are on a waiting list for it.

    She also raised the issue of home help providers having their hours cut.

    Senator Conway-Walsh says that the system which was in place up to 2010, where the HSE ran the home help service, worked perfectly and should not have changed. The service was privatised after 2010.

    Senator Conway-Walsh told Midwest News that there are ways and means that the issue of waiting lists can be tackled.

  • The HSE's decision to suspend the allocation of new Home Help hours will hit the counties of Mayo, Galway and Roscommon hardest, as demand in the West is far greater than anywhere else in the country - that's according to Roscommon Independent TD Denis Naughten.

    Deputy Naughten has called for the Dail to be suspended this week to discuss the HSE's decision to close the home help scheme to new entrants, which he says will trap carers in their homes and leave them unable to get a break from the 24 / 7 care they provide.

    He says it will also lead to families being left with no choice but to admit older people to long-term nursing home care.

    The Roscommon TD told Midwest News that the HSE's decision must be reversed immediately....

  • A Roscommon TD has called for immediate action to ensure that the money provided by Dáil Éireann for home help is used to increase hours available to support older people in their homes, not spent on administration.

    Independent TD Denis Naughten raised the matter in the Dail last night and said the decision by the HSE to suspend the allocation to home help hours to older people and their carers for the next five months, contradicts the €140m increase in funding for home help since this Government took office and the all-party Oireachtas Health Committee report, Slainte Care, on the reform of the health service in Ireland.

    He said we now have a situation where Government policy and Dáil Éireann are at complete variance with the policy actions by the HSE and we are told by the Taoiseach that Minister Daly is scrambling to gather the facts and is only set to meet with the HSE managers next week.

    Deputy Naughten says the HSE is completely unaccountable, making up its own policy and this has to put a stop to and the first step should be reversing these cuts immediately.

    He said there is far greater demand for home help hours in Galway, Roscommon and Mayo than anywhere else in the country so any decision to restrict the allocation of home help hours will have a disproportionate impact on local families and older people.

    Deputy Naughten spoke on the matter in the Dail last night.

  • Roscommon Independent TD Denis Naughten says he's 'hopeful' that the Ceann Comhairle will suspend the Dáil later today to allow a debate on cuts to home help hours take place.

    He says the move by the HSE to slash the allocation makes no sense as its cost is a fraction of that to keep someone in a nursing home.

    Deputy Naughten says quality of life is also an issue as it's important to keep people in their own community as long as possible.