There is an “alarming” number of elderly Laois people approved but left waiting for home help, says Laois Sinn Fein TD Brian Stanley.
“The latest figures released to Sinn Féin show an alarming number of elderly people in Laois and Offaly granted home care and still awaiting this service,” he said.
In Laois there are 109 people, all “wait listed” and in Offaly another 204 people granted the service are also waiting, a total of 313 people.
“Some of these have been waiting an outrageous length of time. In fact 179 have been waiting over 6 months and they still have no indication of when they will get home help. In Laois there are 40 people waiting over 9 months and in Offaly 57 people are waiting as long. This is nothing short of scandalous,” Deputy Stanley said.
He was contacted by the Laois family who spoke to the Leinster Express in the below story about their own granny's fears.
“In recent months I have had numerous people contacting me who are without any home help cover. One case which I am most concerned about, relates to a 97- year old woman. This woman had home help in the past, she has been in hospital recently and this was followed by two weeks respite care. She is without any home help whatsoever,” he said.
“Letting a 97-year old go home from residential care without having the necessary home supports in place shows a complete failure in our health system. I have been making representations on her behalf . She is 'wait listed' and her family have no indication when she will get home care,” he said.
Dep Stanley also claims there is a lack of cover for staff on leave.
“Elderly people have been left without cover for weeks. There is also an over reliance on private agency staff and this is more expensive than HSE directly employed staff. This impacts on the overall budget services.
“A proper home help service makes sense as it keeps people in their home and their local community. It also makes economic sense as the average weekly cost of providing home help for an older person is €165 per week on average. This is just a fraction of the cost of hospital care which is €5,992 per week, and nursing home costs an average of €1,048 a week,” Dep Stanley said.
“It is time for the Government to improve home care services for the elderly people,” he said.