58 people are currently on the waiting list in Leitrim.
The HSE has announced it is prioritising home care for “end of life” patients, however a spokesperson has stressed that resources for the provision of home support, while substantial, “are finite.” At the moment 58 people are still on the waiting list for support in Co Leitrim.
Figures obtained by Sligo Leitrim TD, Eamon Scanlon, on behalf of Cllr Caillian Ellis, sought clarification on the lengthy waiting list for home care packages in Co Leitrim.
Responding to Deputy Scanlon, Martin Collum, general manager, services for older persons, Social Care Division, CHO1 said: “In 2018 the Homecare Package budget and the Home Help budget was amalgamated to provide a single Home Support budget.
“The aim 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 support by the Home Support Governance committee, and where funding is not available immediately to provide the service, are placed on a priority based home support waiting list awaiting available resources.
“Those who are at end of life are prioritised for a service,” he stressed.
However Cllr Caillian Ellis described the HSE's response as “very unsatisfactory.”
“There are any amount of well qualified people available to do home help in this area. The problem is that there are not enough hours allocated and the time that people get to spend with clients isn't enough,” he said.
“If we had more home help funding and more home help hours then there would be less people on trolleys, less people taking up beds in hospitals who don't have to be there and don't want to be there.
“People want to be able to stay in their own homes and they should be facilitated and supported in doing this.”
He said suggestions in the national media that there could be restriction between now and early November on the number of new or additional hours allocated were “outrageous.”
Comments made by Minister for State, Jim Daly suggest the scheme will be effectively closed to new applicants for five months and people who currently avail of the scheme who are in need of extra hours will find it difficult to get them.
“If this is the route that is being taken in the next few months it is very disappointing,” said Cllr Ellis.