A Waterford TD says a someone has to pass away before families can get home care support at this time of the year.
Mary Butler tabled a special Dáil motion on the need for a significant increase in investment in the sector.
The Fianna Fail Deputy told the house that there’s gaps in what’s being provided at present.
She says there’s 97 people waiting for support in Waterford now but there’s no funding left.
“It has come to my attention that in some areas there is no budget left to provide any more home care packages between now and Christmas. The only way to provide this support is if, unfortunately, a member of some other family passes away. That might free up eight, 12 or 14 hours, which can then be allocated to someone else. That is hard on the staff dealing with the matter.”
Deputy Butler says keeping people in their home for as long as possible delivers better results.
“It must be acknowledged that it costs the State three times more to look after older people in a nursing home than it does to look after them in the community. It makes sense to keep older people in their own homes for as long as possible. I fervently believe that if we get the home care supports right – I will speak about community care later – the knock-on effect throughout the acute hospital sector would have to be acknowledged. If we could have people released into their communities from acute hospital settings in a timely manner, it would be a good day’s work.”