Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Older People and Public Health Promotion Mary Butler TD has welcomed the publication of a new report on home care.
The report, which was published today, offers a joint assessment of home care in Ireland by the Irish Association of Social Workers, Age Action Ireland, the Alzheimer Society of Ireland and University College Dublin’s School of Social Work.
Deputy Butler said, “This is a timely study and a welcome contribution to the debate on how best to care for our older people. We have already heard numerous reports this year of people finding it difficult to access adequate home care. It’s important that we understand why this is the case and what can be done to resolve the problem.
“Fianna Fáil believes that the funding allocated to enable older people remain at home not only provides the most comforting and dignified care, but also the best value for money.
“Last year the HSE estimated that some 2.2 million extra hours of home help and a further 3,500 home care packages for older people are required. Unfortunately this was not provided for in the 2016 Service Plan. I’m firmly of the view that these additional resources must be provided for older people.
“I acknowledge that the new Programme for Government has a commitment to increase home care packages and home help hours, but I’m concerned that there is a lack of detail surrounding how these commitments will be delivered.
“This report clearly highlights the inconsistencies between the various local health areas when it comes to the availability of home care. This must be addressed as a matter of urgency. It’s unacceptable that there are so many inconsistencies in the system with many older people missing out on home care just because of the area they live in.
“Real progress in meeting the challenge of home care must be made during this Dáil. It’s the preferred option for older people and it’s well acknowledged that care based around the home is vital for keeping people active in their own communities which in turn has enormous health benefits,” said Deputy Butler.