Private home-care companies 'abusing elderly'
Published 13/12/2010 | 05:00
A GROWING number of complaints about private home-care companies abusing older people behind closed doors is leading to mounting concern about the unregulated industry.
Friends of the Elderly has recorded complaints about the lack of training of home-care workers, and poor language skills.
In other cases, the complaints have highlighted neglect of the person they are looking after, verbal abuse, offices not answering phones and unexplained increases in fees.
The problems have arisen with private home-care companies which are hired directly by the older person, or are paid by the Health Service Executive (HSE) under the Home Care Support Scheme, to provide a range of supports to people in their own homes.
The concerns, which will be aired on RTE's 'Prime Time' tonight, were previously highlighted by the Irish Independent, which revealed the HSE is spending more than €300m a year on home care.
A report by the government think tank, the National Economic and Social Forum, has already uncovered major flaws in the sector.