Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth is calling on the Government to support a Bill, being brought forward by her party, which would see home care packages offered to people in place of long term residential care.

The Nursing Home Support Scheme (Amendment Bill) 2016 will be debated in the Dáil next week.

Deputy Smyth commented, “The number of people applying for the Fair Deal across Cavan and Monaghan has fallen steadily over the past six years, 446 in 2010 to 306 at the end of November last year.  While this cannot be put down to any one factor, many families are choosing to care for their parents or elderly loved ones at home rather than avail of residential care.

“There is no doubt that with our ageing population demand for these services will continue to increase, but the Government is only providing a “one size fits all” option under its Fair Deal scheme.  Our Bill aims to change that.  We want to see Home Care Packages offered to people who qualify for residential care under the Fair Deal scheme – this would allow more people be cared for in their own homes.

“The majority of older people would like to remain in their home, but as it stands, they are being denied this right due to a lack of Home Care Packages.  The Fianna Fáil Bill would allow for the provision of a Home Care Package to people who have applied for the Fair Deal scheme as long as the cost is equal to or less than the cost of long term residential care.

“I would like to see cross party support for this Bill.  It will provide greater choice for older people and their families considering their care options”.