Thursday, 11 July 2019
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh (Atógáil) - Questions on Promised Legislation (Resumed)
On page 86 of the programme for Government, the Government promised to support older people in their homes, as well as the home help service. The Health Service Executive, HSE, employee assistance programme provides short-term counselling and support for home help workers who have personal and work-related problems. This is a vital service for home helpers who work long hours, sometimes in difficult and demanding conditions. Those workers may also become emotionally attached to many of the clients they work for, sometimes for a long time. The loss of an elderly client after whom they have looked for a long time is an everyday part of the job but they may need bereavement counselling. There were two counsellors in west Cork but both have now retired. The nearest counselling service is now in Cork city. Will this Government restore the employee assistance program and provide appropriate support for home care staff in west Cork or is this just another cut, through the back door, in the services provided in rural Ireland?