Home Instead Senior Care, a leading global provider of home care services for seniors, expressed its grave concern at the recent publication of complaints received by the HSE around the provision of home care services.
A recent Irish Times article revealed that bad practice continues in the sector and examples of such unacceptable practice included poor standards of intimate care, allegations of theft and cases of staff not showing up resulting in their clients being left in bed for prolonged periods of time.
According to Danette Connolly, Director of Care, Home Instead Waterford, these incidents are shocking and wholly unacceptable. “Every day across the state, tens of thousand of older people and their families depend on home care services to allow them to stay in their own homes. Every organisation, whether it’s the HSE, a not-for-profit organisation or a private care provider, has a responsibility to provide a level of care that is beyond reproach.”
Danette added, “What was particularly disturbing about the report was that the incidents cited would have caused a lot of distress and anguish to those involved. Most people who avail of home care do so to enable them to remain and feel safe in their own homes. Whilst the majority of carers go above and beyond the call of duty to provide a high level of care, this report has cast a shadow on the complete sector.”
Whilst the homecare sector still remains to this day unregulated, Home Instead Senior Care, a member of HCCI (Home and Community Care Ireland), welcomes and lobbies for regulation. The Department of Health has committed to regulating public and private home care services under the Programme for Government 2011- 2016, however Danette would like to see standard setting in the sector expedited.
Home Instead does adhere to a strict code of practice to ensure incidents like these never occur. Some of the measures in place include; Garda vetting of all Home Instead Senior Care CareGIVERs, all CareGIVERs are Fetac qualified or working towards that qualification, all CareGIVERs are fully insured and bonded, a daily client log book allows family members to monitor the activities of CareGIVERs, continual in-home assessment of the client and CareGIVER is carried out by Home Instead’s Nursing team and Home Instead also provides a 24 hour on call service.
Home Instead Senior Care was also awarded ISO certification which copper-fastens its commitment to quality care, customer service and continual improvement.
Danette continued, “In order to provide an exceptional and trusted level of care to seniors, regulation needs to put in place across the sector, the selection and recruitment process should be stringent and a competent level of back up and support needs to be provided to all carers, as they have a duty of care to their clients. Every body has the right to feel safe and cared for in their own homes.”
If you have any concerns about senior care services, the HSE Information line is open Monday to Saturday from 8am to 8pm – 1850 24 1850.