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HSE service plan ignores home care crisis

Published 14/12/2016

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Age Action, Ireland’s leading advocacy organisation for older people, described today’s HSE 2017 Service Plan as very disappointing and said it ignores the crisis in home care supports. 

In 2017, despite rapidly growing demand for home help services, the HSE will provide fewer home help hours to fewer people than it did six years ago. 

Justin Moran, Head of Advocacy and Communications at Age Action, said: “It’s hard to believe the HSE or the department understands the sheer scale of the crisis older people face in getting home care supports. 

“Home help hours and home care packages are simply not available in many parts of the country and the failure to address this is very disappointing.

“This means more older people forced unnecessarily into nursing homes, more families struggling to cope without home helps and more pressure on carers.”

Campaigners unite for home care
Campaigners demanding the Government invest in home care earlier this year.

A very difficult year

In today’s service plan the HSE aims to provide 10.57 million home help hours to 49,000 people, the same as was delivered in 2016, despite rising demand driven by demographic changes.

Justin Moran continued: “The Government, the HSE, opposition politicians, everyone tells us they want to support older people to stay at home as long as possible. 

“But to do that we need substantial investment in home care supports that is simply not being provided.  

“For the thousands of older people on waiting lists or stranded in acute hospitals unable to be discharged, 2017 is set to be a very difficult year.” 

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A Fair Society for All? Listening to the Voices of Older People

Often, inequalities experienced by older people reflect an accumulated disadvantage which can be as a result of factors such as socio-economic status, health, gender, location. How existing inequalities impact on us as we age is something we in Age Action explored through a panel discussion 10 September – A Fair Society For All? Listening to the Voice of Older People – in Croke Park, on the occasion of the Annual General Meeting 2019.

An audience of over 160 people, including members of Age Action and people working in the ageing sector, joined the conversatoin which included a panel disucssion moderated by the CEO Paddy Connolly. The discussion centred on a discussion paper, Equality for All - Older People for Equality, published by Age Action in advance.The  panel set the scene with inputs from Michael Taft, Economist and political economy columnist, Colette Bennett, Policy Analyst Social Justice Ireland, Deirdre Garvey, CEO The Wheel, Ailbhe Smith, Co-Director of Together for Yes.