306 Cavan-Monaghan people on waiting list for home help support – Smith



-Average waiting time 84 days-

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has said that it is simply unacceptable that there are 306 people, mainly older people, on a waiting list for home help hours in Cavan-Monaghan.

Deputy Brendan Smith was commenting after securing information from the Health Service Executive following Parliamentary Questions he tabled in Dáil Éireann on the number of people on the waiting list in Cavan-Monaghan for the provision of Home Support.

“This is really disappointing as these people desperately need home help support to allow them either be discharged from hospital or to be able remain in their home instead of being moved into a nursing or retirement home.

“The Government talks a good game about keeping older people in their home for as long as possible, but unless home help hours are provided on time, there is sometimes no alternative for families but to make use of nursing homes.

“As it stands the average waiting time is 84 days. That is 84 days people possibly spent in a hospital bed awaiting discharge with the appropriate supports or in many instances vulnerable people in ill health living on their own without adequate supports.  Such persons should not have to wait so long to have put in place supports that have already been approved.

“This is bad policy from a cost point of view as well as from the point of view of the older person. We know that older people who are supported to stay in their home do better and live healthier and happier lives.

“There is no sense in not funding adequately the home help services as and when they are needed. First of all, it allows patients to be discharged from hospitals which frees up capacity for acute patients and secondly it ensures that older people can stay in their homes and in the communities they have lived in for decades.

“Fine Gael in Government need to attach much more importance and urgency in funding additional home help hours. Time for action is now and the appropriate resources must be allocated to the HSE and ensure that persons needing home help have such support put in place in a timely manner.  In the long run, everyone wins especially our older people,” concluded Deputy Brendan Smith.