Fianna Fáil TD for Waterford, Mary Butler has said that it is simply unacceptable that there are 124 people in Waterford, mainly older people, on a waiting list for home help hours.
The Deputy was commenting after securing information from the Health Service Executive on the number of people on the waiting list in both Waterford County and the Waterford City areas of CHO 5 which covers the South East of the country.
“This is really disappointing as these people desperately need home help support to allow them either be discharged from hospital or to be able to remain in their home instead of being moved into a nursing or retirement home,” said Butler who is her party’s Spokesperson on Older People.
“The Government talks a good game about keeping older people in their home for as long as possible, but unless home help hours are provided on time, there is sometimes no alternative for families but to make use of nursing homes.
“This is bad policy from a cost point of view as well as from the point of view of the older person. We know that older people who are supported to stay in their home do better and live healthier and happier lives.
“There is no sense in not funding the home help services as and when they are needed. First of all, it allows patients to be discharged from hospitals which frees up capacity for acute patients and secondly it ensures that older people can stay in their homes and in the communities they have lived in for decades.
“Ministers Daly and Harris need to think long-term about the importance of funding additional home help hours. In the long run, everyone wins especially our older people,” concluded Butler.