FF Bill on Home Care shines spotlight on social care in Ireland – Cahill
– Expanding Free Deal to include home help care needed –
– Access to GP care essential to keeping older people in their homes –
Local Fianna Fáil TD, Jackie Cahill has said that progress needs to be made quickly to deal with an increasingly ageing population, and that a one size fits all approach to social care won’t work.
Deputy Cahill was speaking during the Fianna Fáil bill, the Nursing Home Support Scheme (Amendment) Bill 2016, where he called for changes to the scheme to de made to allow it be used to provide home help support.
“We all know that keeping an older person in their own home is best. The current system which has only one result – a person moving lock, stock, and barrel into a nursing home, is very limiting.
“In many cases, four to five home help hours per week would mean an older person not having to move into a nursing home, and being able to stay in the comfort and safety of their own home.
“The Fianna Fáil bill would have enabled the current Fair Deal Scheme be used to pay for home help hours so long as the total cost is less than a nursing home bed.
“Our bill signals progress for social care in our country. However, it is only one part of the solution. If we are to keep more people in their homes, access to GP services needs to be guaranteed.
“In Thurles, the HSE has struggled to recruit a replacement for a soon to retire GP who has given decades of service to the local community.
“Without accessible GP services, across rural Ireland, caring for people in the home won’t be possible in the way Fianna Fáil proposes.
“Following the debate, the Dáil agreed to a compromise motion which will allow for a six month consultation process with stakeholders, and the bill will come back before the Dáil in July 2017.
“Fianna Fáil is committed to finding the best, safest and fairest way of keeping older people in their homes for as long as possible,” concluded Cahill.