Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection Willie O’Dea says a new Bill introduced by his party in the Dáil prior to the recess will make Home Care Packages a statutory right.

The Bill will allow for home care services to be offered to people in place of long term residential care. Deputy O’Dea pointed out that home care services can offer a better outcome for patients, and such services are less costly to the State compared to long term residential care.

Deputy O’Dea said,” The vast majority of older people would like to remain in their own home for as long as possible. However many older people are being denied this due to a lack of home care packages. As a consequence of this, many older people who would ordinarily live at home if they had the necessary home care support are instead being forced to live in nursing homes.

“The Bill I have put forward will address this issue by offering people a home care package as an alternative to long-term residential care. This will apply in circumstances where the provision of a home care package is less costly to the State compared to long term residential care.

“If passed this Bill will be an enormous step forward in helping to empower older people. It will enshrine in legislation their right to services that will allow them to stay in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. This not only benefits the individual concerned and their families, but also the State due to less demands being placed on long-term residential care services.

“It is time we gave older people a greater choice in determining the care that they receive. I believe this Bill is a step in the right direction and will help achieve this,” concluded Deputy O’Dea.