One million extra hours for homecare supports welcome

Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Lisa Chambers says the increase in homecare hours for 2020 will be welcomed by families across County Mayo who have had to endure long waiting times for hours to be issued to them.

Deputy Chambers was commenting following an increase in home help hours announced in Budget 2020.

Deputy Chambers commented, “The provision of an extra one million hours will be welcomed by families in County Mayo who have experienced long waiting times for home help hours.” 

“Fine Gael has allowed a crisis in homecare supports to escalate over the past year, and the issue was always going to be a priority for us in Budget discussions. The service has been unable to keep pace with demand and we have seen a significant increase in the waiting lists as a result. We have also witness people loosing some of their allocated home help hours so they can be further divided out to other applicants and many people receiving home help hours are not getting enough hours to meet their needs. People are being allocated a measly half hour per day in some cases, which is barely enough time to get someone out of bed and make them a cup of tea.”

“Allied to this is the huge rise in delayed discharges in acute hospitals. It would have been reckless not to see action on this matter. There are people taking up beds in Mayo University Hospital who are ready and want to go home but can’t go home until they get a home support package. The additional hours should help take some of the pressure of our hospital.”

“Fianna Fáil has long believed that funding allocated to enable older people remain at home provides not only the best value for money but also reflects the wishes of most older people and their families. Older people should have the choice to stay in their own home as long as they want to and feel able to. Elderly people should not be forced into nursing home care sooner than is needed because they cannot access a few hours of home help to help them stay in their own home.”  

“The Home Care Package was introduced in 2006 when Fianna Fáil was in government and it remains an extremely important part of our health service.  Today’s modest increase in home help hours will go some way to allowing people in Mayo to live longer in their own homes,” concluded Deputy Chambers.