Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue has called on the Minister for Health to allocate additional funding to the Home Care Service in County Donegal. Deputy McConalogue made his comments after the latest figures released to him revealed that there were 215 clients awaiting home help as of the end of January.

Deputy McConalogue commented, “There is constant demand on the home help service in our county. On a consistent basis, there is circa 2,000 people availing of home help services. The majority of these would be elderly people who require the help to stay in their home and maintain their independence.

“The home help service is also a vital support for the many carers the length and breadth of our county. The support provided by Home Help workers assists them greatly in the care of their loved ones in the comfort of their own home. 

“However, we are consistently seeing a situation whereby numerous clients have been approved homecare packages, but the staff and resources are unavailable to provide this. These vulnerable people are left waiting for a support that they have been approved for which leaves them and their families in very difficult positions.

“Furthermore, a properly funded home help service would relieve some of the pressure on our local community hospitals as well as Letterkenny University Hospital by allowing people to be cared for in their own home and by having the resources available to discharge certain patients from wards, thus freeing up much needed capacity in our hospitals.

“In January of last year, there were 116 clients awaiting an allocation of hours. The latest figures from January 19, show there were 215 clients awaiting an allocation of hours. This points to the sustained demand that the Home Help Service in our county is experiencing, and it is clear that additional resources and funding is required.

“The Minister and the Department must recognise the vital importance of this service and allocate additional resources to ensure that no-one is left waiting for this support. I will continue to raise this matter in the Dáil at every opportunity,” concluded Deputy McConalogue.