6,432 waiting for home support care: Dáil to debate home care crisis – Naughten

In Families, News, Older People, Posts by Topic by Denis Naughten

The Dáil will this week debate the urgent need to address the crisis in home care support with almost 6,500 people on a waiting list to access support, including some individuals who are currently stuck in hospital beds claims Denis Naughten TD.

On Wednesday morning the Regional Group of TDs will move a Dáil motion highlighting the critical state of home care and home help services, revealing a severe shortage of carers which is leaving vulnerable individuals without the necessary support. As a result, many are confined to their beds, unable to access the funded home care packages they desperately require.

Denis Naughten said: “We are calling on the Government to take immediate action and to devise and implement a comprehensive plan to address the challenges posed by the steadily increasing population of individuals aged 65 years and over in the coming years.

“Home support services are crucial in assisting older people and individuals with disabilities who wish to continue living at home or who require support after hospital stays. However, without swift intervention from the Government these essential services are at serious risk.

“The chronic shortage of home help hours is causing delays in discharging patients from hospitals, particularly vulnerable older individuals, exacerbating the chaos within some healthcare facilities.

“Census statistics reveal that nearly 300,000 people are currently providing unpaid care, with 86,000 individuals dedicating 43 hours or more per week to caregiving. Regular breaks are essential for carers’ well-being, and the absence of respite services denies them the opportunity to prioritise their mental and physical health.”

The Regional Group of TDs has issued a series of recommendations to the Government, urging it to:

  1. Ensure every family carer is entitled to a minimum number of days of respite care per year through legislation.
  2. Enable families to access direct funding for help and care outside regular hours, eliminating restrictions on private providers.
  3. Amend the eligibility rules for Jobseeker’s Allowance so that the total amount of paid work in hours is considered rather than days, as the current system disincentivises engagement in part-time employment.
  4. Increase the means test limits for the Carer’s Allowance and establish a high-level group to examine and develop a roadmap for delivering a non-means tested participation income for family carers.
  5. Increase the financial threshold for people on State benefits so they can work and earn more money working in the homecare sector. This would help with staff shortages while at the same time helping people to have a better standard of living without being penalised by the State.
  6. Ensure that all training for people engaging in the care industry is paid for by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science to assist private providers in replacing staff who have moved to jobs within the HSE.
  7. Ensure that remuneration for time spent travelling, motor travel expenses and pay when clients are in hospital is standardised for all healthcare employees.
  8. Make industry and public sector travel expenses available to home care providers who offer services to older and vulnerable individuals in rural areas, promoting a balanced approach.

Denis Naughten has also expressed disappointment with the Government’s continued failure to address the needs of older people, individuals with disabilities, their families and caregivers, evidenced by persistent delays in taking action to address this situation.


Editor’s Note:

The debate can be watched live online at https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/oireachtas-tv/oireachtas-tv-channel/ or on

  • Saorview Channel 22
  • Virgin Media Channel 207
  • Sky Channel 514
  • eir Vision Channel 504
  • Vodafone Channel 207