Wait for a Home Care Package sees huge jump

by Mark O'Brien
Local TD John Curran has been critical of the delays in providing a Home Care Package to older people

The number of older people waiting for a Home Care Package from the HSE in Dublin Mid-West increased by 12% between February and March this year.

The HSE confirmed that at the end of March 2018, there were 724 older people in the Dublin Mid-West area waiting on a home care package, an increase of 74 people from February’s figures.

The information was obtained through Parliamentary Question from local TD John Curran (FF).

He said it is deeply frustrating to see such an increase in such a short period of time.

He said: “This is a staggering number of people, vulnerable people I may add, waiting for support that the HSE has already been deemed to be necessary.

“It is clear from these figures that the Government is failing to grasp the issue of Home Care Packages.

“I am deeply concerned that these numbers continue to rise. In one month, my area has seen a 12% increase in the number of older people waiting for Home Supports.

“Home Care Packages are not optional extras in the lives of these people and their families.

“They are, in many cases, the difference between an older people staying in their home, surrounded by family or friends, or living in a nursing home or other assisted living centre.”

Deputy Curran added that there are better outcomes for older people when they can stay in their own home.

“The HSE needs to get its act together,” he said.

“Speed up the processing of funding applications to ensure that delays are kept to the absolute minimum, and if there isn’t enough funding, make the case to Government that additional funding is required.”

In response, the HSE said: “While the resources for the provision of home support are substantial, they are finite.

“The aim of these services is to be as responsive as possible to all applications; however, given the changing demographics and limitation of the resource, delays can occur.

“In this context, those clients who are assessed and approved for home care and who are not being provided immediately with a service, are risk assessed and placed on a waiting list for a resource as it becomes available.

“In addition, people being discharged from acute hospitals, who are in a position to return home with supports, are prioritised.

“Each Community Healthcare Organisation working within the available resources and demands for services operate a waiting list for home support when clients are not provided with a new or additional service immediately.”

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