Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has criticised the Government for its failure to provide provisions for much needed home care packages for families struggling to take care of a loved one in a home setting.
The Sinn Féin TD was speaking after he raised the case of a 93 year old constituent who was approved for 21 hours of home care but the HSE informed her family that they didn’t have the finances to provide the home care package.
Deputy Seán Crowe:
“A 93 year old constituent of mine was in hospital after a recent illness and the social worker said that 21 hours of home care would be awarded to this family. The family were then told there is currently no funding available for their loved one.
“I raised the case in a parliamentary question with the Minister for Health and he said it was a matter for the HSE, but the HSE was not in a position to give me the information on these particular 21 hours. I feel sick to my stomach that someone is left in this situation, where the family are left helpless without supports and left to carry the financial burden on their own.
“This is not an isolated case. There are more than 200 people in Dublin South West waiting for the HSE to provide the finances so they cannot get home care packages.
“It does not make any economic sense to leave people in expensive acute or respite care beds if the family wants to take them home. It is distressing for the patients and their families. It also puts the patient at greater risk of cross infection.
“I raised the issue in the Dáil but the Government response was less than satisfactory and revealed that this is something that will not be dealt with any time soon. That translates into a situation where families are being asked to leave a loved one in a care setting where they are clearly distressed and worried. Ironically they are then viewed by officialdom as somehow being a bed blocker.
“Clearly there is something wrong with a system that denies patient the opportunity to recover or spend their remaining days in the comfort of their home, where they have had so many happy memories surrounded by family, neighbours, and friends. There is plenty of money floating around Government these days, but the sick and vulnerable are unfortunately not on any priority or urgent list.”