Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Older People, Mary Butler, has described as “cruel” the fact that so many people are waiting for home help hours to be allocated.
The latest figures from the HSE reveal that 6,310 people were on waiting lists for home help services at the end of April.
Deputy Butler said, “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 service actually losing hours."
“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. This, in turn, is increasing the strain on our already overburdened hospital system," the Waterford deputy added.
“The fact that more than 6,000 people are on waiting lists for hours shows clearly how strained the service has become. The Minister needs to clarify how many people will be affected by these proposed cuts, as there is no doubt that any reduction in hours will push an already stretched service to the brink."
“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 Butler.