Waiting lists for Home Support services ‘too high’ – Adams
Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has called for more funding for Home Support Services for Older People following a HSE response to a Parliamentary Question which reveals that CHO Area 8 which covers Louth, Longford, Westmeath, Offaly, Laois and Meath has one of the highest numbers of people without services waiting for funding for Home Support Services, including home help hours and home care packages.
Gerry Adams said:
“At the start of this year, the HSE combined the home help service and the home care package service into a single service called the Home Support Service for Older People.
“Home support services allow older citizens to stay in their homes and provide support for those who are ill or disabled.
“Unfortunately, funding by this Fine Gael-led government, with the support of Fianna Fáil, means that this service is seriously underfunded. Currently, there are 6,118 people waiting for a home support service across the State.
“In the CHO area 8, that number is 799 which makes it one of the worst regions in the state.
“In its response, the HSE stresses that the Home Support Service is ‘finite and service delivery must therefore be delivered within the funding available’. Later, it repeats this by claiming that the Home Support Service has to ensure that ‘the overall expenditure on home support services by the HSE does not exceed the available funding’.
“The result of this is that some citizens are waiting for long periods of time to access these supports.
“The government has a responsibility to ensure that older people and those with disabilities who need home support are cared for with the dignity and respect they deserve. The government should ensure that in the budget that will be produced in October that sufficient funding is available to end these unacceptable waiting lists.”