Fair Deal provision for home help ‘not way forward’ – Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin spokesperson for older people Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has expressed concern at the move by Minister of State Helen McEntee to promote including home help hours and home care packages as part of the Fair Deal Scheme.
The Cavan-Monaghan TD said:
“It does not take a great leap of intuition to know that if it is possible to care for an older person in their own home, then it is prudent to do so. Allowing a person to remain in their own home not only adds peace of mind in the comfort of familiar surroundings, but frees up space in our already overwhelmed hospital and health services.
“However, I would feel that an extension of the Fair Deal scheme to include care in the home unfairly targets the income and finances of elderly people who need care. The Government currently takes up to 80% of their income and 7.5% of the value of their assets per year over three years for nursing home access.
“With an ageing population and projected increased demand, I would welcome Government address of the needs of our older citizens. However, I am very concerned that they will do so in an unfair way. What Minister of State McEntee is proposing is not the way forward.
“What needs to happen is that we move to a rights based system whereby vulnerable citizens can receive long term care in their home, in the community, when needed and thereby reduce the reliance on acute hospital beds and long term nursing home care.”