A local advocate of the elderly has welcomed a recruitment campaign by Cork Kerry Community Healthcare for 200 new Health Care Support Assistants, formerly known as home helps, in Cork.
Working in partnership with service users and their families, the seven-day personalised service provides people with support at home for activities of daily living.
Welcoming the news, Paddy O’Brien said that there has been “a great demand for this for many many years”.
“The situation was deplorable. To me, the situation was a scandal that you could not get home help, there were waiting lists for home help.
Many elderly people did move into nursing homes in the last two years as a direct result of being unable to get home help.
“All the surveys that have been carried out, not just in Ireland but in every country in Europe, find that the elderly want to finish their own days at home, in their own community, the place they are familiar with and the home helps do that, they keep the people in the community and keep the people at home in their own environment.
“I welcome it, it is a great boost for the care services. They do wonderful work and go beyond the call of duty and that has always been the situation,” he said.
He said that the service improves the quality of life for so many elderly but called on the HSE to now look in a very serious way at the situation in relation to the number of visits per week made by Health Care Support Assistants and allocation of time.
Some elderly people are only getting 30 minutes per week. That is totally unacceptable because any person going into an elderly person would find it impossible to do anything in a half an hour.
“We must be realistic in offering people home help because they can’t do anything in a half an hour. The big advantage of having a home help on elderly people is that home help is probably the only person they speak to for days and if they are rushing in and out there’s no time for a chat and I would say to the HSE be realistic in the allocation of times that they would spend,” he said.
Speaking about the role, HCSA Recruitment Co-ordinator Noreen Cremin said: “The service that Health Care Support Assistants provides to people in their own communities is a hugely valued service.
“I think now more than ever the general public and the health services itself really appreciate the service that Health Care Support Assistants can provide by enabling people to live at home, safely and for as long as is reasonably possible.”
The closing date for the applications is Friday, January 21 at midday.
Job details are available here.