Fianna Fáil TD for Meath West, Shane Cassells, has said that the numbers of people awaiting funding for home care support and waiting for carers in the Meath area has risen sharply over the past five months.

Deputy Cassells was commenting as figures provided to Fianna Fáil shows that 321 people were waiting for home support hours in July, an increase of 157 from March.

Deputy Cassells said, “This represents a massive increase of almost 96% and it coincides with the huge numbers of constituents contacting my office as they fight to get home support for a loved one.

“The numbers are rising rapidly across the country, and with the winter drawing closer it’s reasonable to assume that there will be further increases in the numbers seeking home support hours in the coming months.

“The Government must stop with their penny-wise and pound-foolish policy. Everyone knows that eligible people who are supported in their own homes save the health service thousands of euro. It costs €5,964 per week to care for someone in a hospital bed whereas a 26 hours home care package would cost approximately €550 per week.

“It makes sense financially, in terms of health and well-being and for the sake of our social fabric that people are supported in their own communities and in the comfort of their own homes.

“Minister Daly needs to get on top of this. The crisis across all older people’s services whether in the home or in residential care needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency”, he concluded.