Carer fears wife will be forced to move into a nursing home
A MAN caring for his sick wife fears she may have to be moved to a nursing home if their help hours are cut.
Mattie Sheridan (66) has been caring for his wife, Bridget (65), since she was diagnosed with dementia in 2006. She also suffered a stroke last week.
Mr Sheridan's own health is poor, and he has been diagnosed with heart problems.
The couple get only three hours of home help a week from the HSE and depend on regular assistance from the Carers Association and the Alzheimer Society of Ireland to get by at their home in Waterford city.
Mr Sheridan said: "I get my wife out of bed in the morning and the carer comes in to help her get washed and dressed.
"It's an hour-and-a-half in the mornings and a couple of hours in the evening, two evenings a week and three afternoons."
Mr Sheridan said he struggles with what help they receive, and fears the consequences of losing it under the Government's plan to slash home help provision by 600,000 hours.
"I wouldn't be able to look after my wife," he said.
"I'd love to be able to help her and keep her at home, but they're going to cut us back and give more money to the bank bondholders."
He said cutting home help was a false economy and would cost the State more in the long run.
"If they put my wife into a home, it's going to cost the Government €1,200 to €1,400 a week," he said.
"I worked as a volunteer in the community for years and now they're cutting us down.
"I'm just trying to do the best I can for my wife."