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We need a ‘fair deal’ for home care packages

Roísín Shortall TD, co-leader of Social Democrats, has called for a legal entitlement to have a Home Care package, citing the lack of respect for older people in the current healthcare system as a fundamental reason for a total overhaul of the system.

“We need a ‘fair deal’ for home care packages. The dire shortage of home help and home care supports to enable older people to live independently in their own homes impacts unacceptably on the quality of life for our older people and puts avoidable pressures on our acute hospitals.”

“In the same way that we have a legal entitlement to the Fair Deal scheme, the Government must now create a legal entitlement to a Home Care scheme.”

“The current trolley crisis in our hospitals demonstrates yet again that lack of vision, lack of a reforming zeal and ultimately the lack of provision for patient’s dignity within the health system means we are condemned to repeat the same patterns year after year. This is unacceptable.”

“A reformed health system would include a radical shift to investment in community care and primary care, with investment in new facilities and services, including diagnostic services in the community. with dignity for the patient built in to every facet of the system.”

“At any time in our acute hospitals there are 500 older people, many of whom are ready and want to return home. However, there are grossly insufficient supports to enable them to do so. A crucial part of the solution is to create a legal entitlement to a home care package for older people.”

“We know that most older people would prefer to live independently in their own homes, with support, rather than living in a nursing home. We also know that they do better healthwise and it is better value for money.”