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Home carers track death notices for 'vacancies'

WAITING lists are so long for home-help services that managers in one region must listen to death notices on local radio to see if there is an available space.

Clarecare provides home-help services to 1,000 clients with 125 more people on approved waiting lists.

However, the service which provides 180,000 hours of home help a year through 400 part-time employees may have to reduce assistance to the elderly and vulnerable if government cutback plans proceed.

Director Fiacre Hensey said home-help managers at Clarecare listen to daily death notices on Clare FM to see if space can be freed up on the home-help service.

"It is a pathetic situation to be in, but that is what we have to do," Mr Hensey said.

"Clare FM announce the deaths every morning and home-help co-ordinators would listen to that as it has lots of implications.

"We have never had enough funding to address the waiting list," he added.

Already this year, Clarecare endured HSE-imposed cutbacks of 3.5pc or 6,300 hours.

Irish Independent