A record number of people are waiting for home help approval in Donegal this summer, with 192 people waiting to receive their hours.
Figures from the Department of Health show that 192 families are waiting for more than 14 weeks for their approved home help.
Many of these patients are either in hospitals or in their homes without the necessary care.
Donegal Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher has criticised the government for failing to take any additional action to counteract the delays.
He said: “I continue to be at a loss as to what is actually happening between the Department of Health, Government and the HSE, as on each occasion I raise this issue of home help hours in the Dáil; the Government spouts the line of the increased hours which they have allocated year on year, but in reality and on the ground little or no extra hours have been available for those that either have been provisionally approved help, or those that are awaiting home help.
“The Government have created a home help crisis due to inaction and the complete failure to plan for the increased demand over time for home help hours throughout the country, and specifically here in Donegal,” Deputy Gallagher said.
Investment in home help hours would be money well spent, says Pat the Cope.
“The current home help system is at breaking point; the impossible is being demanded by the Government of those that are trying to run the home help schemes but they cannot provide a service unless the Government properly funds the scheme,” concluded Pat the Cope.