Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has said that there must be a much greater emphasis put on ensuring that older people get the home help packages they need to live independently as possible for as long as possible.

Figures released by the HSE show that there are 501 older people on the CHO7 waiting list for a home help package, 296 of whom have been waiting longer that six months.

Teachta Crowe said:

“Home help packages are essential in allowing older people to live as independently as they can for as long as they can. Without them, families are placed under enormous pressure to care for their older relatives and in some cases, a family may not live locally or an individual may not have family at all.

“I was shocked to hear from the HSE that there were 501 older people waiting on a home help package in the CHO7 area, which includes Dublin South West. Worse still, 296 of them have been waiting longer than six months.

“We must do better by our older citizens and ensure that they have access to home care promptly. Leaving them waiting on supports could have a detrimental impact on some individuals and it isn’t right and it isn’t fair.

“Ireland has an aging population. We are lucky that our loved ones are living longer but this presents its own challenges. We must be proactive and plan for greater demand into the future rather than scrambling and failing to provide for what is needed today.”