Martin Kenny TD slams idea of home help scheme like 'Fair Deal'
In the Dáil today, Deputy Martin Kenny, Sinn Féin TD for Sligo, Leitrim, North Roscommon and South Donegal, asked the Junior Minister for Older People about the provision of home help services.
Minister Daly responded that the government was working on a “fair deal”-type scheme for the service.
Deputy Kenny said:
“There is a clear commitment in the programme for government to provide home care services, home care packages and home help services for elderly people.
“In recent weeks, I have been inundated with people coming to me trying to get additional home help hours that they cannot get.
"When I speak to the service in the North West, it tells me it would need to get at least 20% more funding to provide adequately for the number of people who need to get the service.
“Most people are being told they have to pay for the home help services privately to be able to subsidise the State's intervention.
"It is really unacceptable because many people are on the poverty line.
“They find that when an elderly relative or another individual comes home from hospital, they cannot get home help services for him or her.
"They are told to pay for it themselves when they cannot afford to do so.
“In the forthcoming budget, I expect a strong commitment from the Government to put the funding in place to ensure the promise in the programme for Government is kept in respect of this.
"It saves money in the long run. Not only does it save money from the point of view of the health service but it also puts money into the hands of people living in rural areas, many of whom are providing the service.
"It makes absolute sense. It is the one area in which the Government needs to invest with absolute haste.
“People need these services now, not in the future and it is not good enough that people who worked and paid their taxes all their lives are being asked in their old age to fork out again for the most basic service which will keep them in their homes and not in full-time residential accommodation.”