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.”
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.”