Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Niamh Smyth, has described as “cruel” the fact that so many people are waiting for home help hours to be allocated in Cavan-Monaghan.

She commented, “Over the past number of years we have seen the number of people waiting for home help hours increase significantly, but despite this, the resources have failed to meet demand leaving some actually losing hours.  

“I am aware of one lady who has been in an acute hospital bed for the past four weeks awaiting home help hours. This lady has dementia and is currently cared for by her daughter, who had to leave her full-time job, to care for her mother. Another patient I have been assisting has been refused a second carer to aid her as she received palliative care.

“Families across this country are angry and frustrated with Fine Gael’s approach to home help.  Instead of allowing people to live and be cared for in their own homes, they are forcing them into nursing homes and hospitals.

“I have met with many families who are at the end of their tether and deeply concerned that their loved ones will not get the care that they need.  This is a deeply distressing situation for them and simply should not be happening.  

“Home help services are essential, they must be maintained, and indeed increased.  Any move to reduce hours further cannot be countenanced and measures must be taken to ensure that these home helps are protected into the future”, concluded Deputy Smyth.