Friends of the Elderly, an Irish charity which works with seniors to alleviate loneliness and isolation has expressed concern about the numbers of unregulated home help companies in Ireland.
In a recent Irish Times article, Dermot Kirwan of Friends of the Elderly said there has been a proliferation of home help companies and that the influx of private companies offering this service mean the elderly are being put in a “very vulnerable” situation. “My worry is there’s going to be another Leas Cross behind closed doors somewhere” Mr. Kirwan said.
International senior care provider, Home Instead Senior Care, which has a Waterford office also agreed with Mr. Kirwan as to how unregulated home help can be a danger to the elderly.
According to Danette Connolly Director of Care at Home Instead Senior Care, all care providers should be regulated and undergo auditing processes.
“It is frightening when you read some of the senior care statistics in Ireland. In order to administer competent and effective home care all care providers should be fully insured, attend to Garda vetting and the care staff should be trained.”
“Currently Ireland’s home care market is completely unregulated. Seniors are availing of care that is not monitored and some are paying privately for care, leaving themselves vulnerable because taxes are not being paid and there is no insurance cover.”
Ms. Connolly added, “As members of the Irish Private Home Care Association all of our care givers are regularly monitored and undergo Gardai vetting. The carers are our employees and all PAYE & PRSI is paid”
If you or your loved one is in receipt of care you should be seeking verification that the care provider is insured, vetted and tax obligations are being met.
If you are concerned about the care being received by a loved one or suspect an ageing loved one is the victim of abuse, Home Instead Senior Care encourages you to do the following:
Listen to seniors to make sure they are being cared for appropriately.
Report suspected elder abuse to your local HSE office or An Garda Siochana.
Visit ageing loved ones as often as possible so the older person sees you as someone they could trust and talk to about any difficulties they may have. Seniors that are isolated are more likely to be a victim of abuse.
For more information please log on to http://www.homeinstead.ie/ or call Home Instead Senior Care on 051 333966.