Persons living in rural areas are facing increasing challenges to access home help, a Clare councillor has highlighted.

North Clare in particular has experienced instances whereby members of the public have struggled to obtain access to home help, Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG) has flagged. Speaking at a briefing with health officials, he questioned if specific actions were underway “on the challenge of securing home help for people living in rural areas”.

He referenced a recent pre-feasibility study which assessed the potential of supported living at Stella Maris site in Lisdoonvarna. “It showed an enormous need above what I would have ever imagined, it is something we need to plan for,” the Cathaoirleach of the West Clare Municipal District stated.

“We are working and doing whatever we can do to increase numbers in home help support,” Chief Officer with Mid West Community Healthcare, Maria Bridgeman outlined. An ongoing campaign has had “some success,” she noted. “We are working with voluntary providers and private providers to see if there possibility to increase home support, work is ongoing in relation to that”.

Isolation was acknowledged as an issue by Ms Bridgeman as she agreed with the benefits of supported living. Conversations on the subject have been held with the Chief Executive of Clare County Council Pat Dowling, she said. “It is a different type of model, our role is to provide home services that may be required”.

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