More than 200 Galway pensioners are being denied more home help because of a shortage of carers.
It has been confirmed that 182 elderly people in Galway, who need extra home help, are waiting to be assessed or re-assessed for increased home help hours.
A further 31 senior citizens have been approved for extra home help but haven’t yet been allocated the extra carer hours.
They could be waiting as long as six months or more, according to a local TD.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) says a shortage of carers, and not a lack of funding, is the problem.
Home help is for vulnerable people, mostly elderly, who disability or illness, need help with certain tasks. A home help might visit for a couple of hours per day to help with housework, shopping, or sometimes may provide personal care.
Galway/Roscommon Independent TD, Denis Naughten, said home help is vital for facilitating people to remain living semi-independently in their own homes.
He has called on the HSE to speed-up the assessment process and to sanction carers to those in Galway who need them as soon as possible.
“These are older people who rely on home help in order to get dressed in the morning. They may have mobility issues and the home help would help them have a shower certain days of the week.
“The people who are awaiting assessment have applied for extra home-help hours because they have deteriorated, and their carers, often family members, cannot cope and need additional support.
“I know from speaking with people that they could be waiting over six months to get additional home help, and these are people who have been approved. How long are people waiting to be assessed?
“In theory, the policy is for people to remain in their own home but that’s not always the practice. It doesn’t make sense, from a care point or view or economically, to deny people additional home help. That will only force them into nursing homes. The home help system needs to be fully resourced and fully staffed,” said Deputy Naughten.
In Galway, there are currently 2,927 people in receipt of a home help service, including Home Care Packages and Intensive Home Care Packages, the HSE has confirmed.
It revealed that 182 people are awaiting assessment or re-assessment for increased home help hours with a further 31 waiting for an allocation of more hours having been assessed and approved.
“In County Galway the difficulties surrounding the issue of clients who are waiting for Home Help is not funding but it is largely due to a shortage of carers being experienced in many areas of the county,” said Siobhán O’Sullivan, temporary area manager for Galway and Roscommon PCCC (Primary Community and Continuing Care).
She added that “some agencies are currently in the process of recruiting staff and therefore it is hoped this waiting list will be reduced, in the near future”.
Gardaí issue warning on ‘movie money’
Gardaí have warned of an increase in ‘novelty’ euro notes – which are almost identical to real currency – in circulation.
The notes are usually marked ‘movie money’ or ‘prop money’, but this can often go unnoticed by the person handling it. They do not have any security features.
Revenue Officers have seized notes in varying denominations representing a value of €430,895 in recent mail centre detections.
Detective Superintendent Michael Cryan of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau said: “People need to be aware that such notes exist and at busy times, especially late at night, they need to exercise a little care and attention.
“These notes are easily identifiable if precautionary checks are made. Also people who try to tender such notes as real face prosecution, a possible prison sentence and a conviction, which is for life. Such convictions have serious ramifications if one wanted to travel, to work in certain sectors and it can affect their credit rating”.
“We advise businesses and members of the public who deal in cash to be aware that such notes are in circulation and take appropriate precautionary measures. Business owners should ensure staff members handling cash are alerted to watch out for these fraudulent notes.
“The use of fraudulent currency when trying to purchase goods or services is an offence under the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001 and carries a potential prison sentence of 10 years.
“These fraudulent notes should not be accepted as legal tender and any incidents of persons trying to pay with “prop money” should be reported to Gardaí immediately,” said Det Supt Cryan.
Fire at site of former Corrib Great Southern Hotel
Emergency services are at the scene of a large fire at the site of the former Corrib Great Southern Hotel which broke out in the early hours of this morning.
Four units of the Galway Fire and Rescue Service were called to the former hotel near GMIT at 5.45am. A unit from Athenry is also in attendance at the scene.
Fire fighters are maintaining a presence at the derelict hotel, which has been the scene of a number of arson attacks over the past number of years.
Three refused bail on violent disorder charges
Three men who were arrested this morning as part of a Garda investigation into violent disorder at a funeral in Mervue last year, have been denied bail by a District Court Judge.
Denis Hannafin, Curry; Robbie Hannafin, Corboy, Edgeworthstown and Tommy Hannafin, Dublin Road – all in Longford – were charged with violent disorder in connection with an incident which occurred outside Holy Family funeral home on in January 13 last year.
Detective Garda Ronan Leonard told the court this morning that CCTV footage showed a number of members of the Hannafin family outside the funeral home on January 13, 2019, at approximately 3.15pm, when a number of members of the McGinley family made their way towards them.
An altercation ensued, which resulted in one member of the McGinley family suffering a gunshot wound, while another received a stab wound to the back. A third man suffered acid wounds.
Gardaí explained that there is a feud going on between the two families, which began when juvenile members of the families got into a fight at a pool hall.
Detective Leonard voiced concerns that if the three accused were granted bail, they would commit further offences and intimidate members of the McGinley family.
Judge Seamus Hughes had remanded the three accused in custody to Harristown District Court next Friday, February 28.