Independent TD Mattie McGrath has expressed his serious concern around a growing number of representations being made to his constituency office relating to charges being levelled at elderly nursing home residents. Deputy McGrath has brought the matter to the attention of the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar but to date he has yet to receive a reply:
“Over the course of the last few months I have been contacted by several people, particularly in the Carrick-on-Suir area via Cllr Kieran Bourke, who are deeply worried about inexplicable charges that their elderly relatives or friends are accruing.
In particular they are seeking clarification around why residents of these invalid residents are being made to contribute up to €151 per month for a so called ‘social charge’ irrespective of whether or not they can avail of the social activities on offer.
I have been told that some of the residents are paying an estimated €35 per week for activities they cannot take part in because there are either invalids or have limited movement.
I have asked the Minister for Health to clarify this situation for me and address the propriety of demanding a charge from elderly residents when they cannot use the service it is paying for.
At the very least there ought to be a cost reduction exemption, or an opt out clause offered to residents who have no realistic opportunity to take part in such activities,” concluded Deputy McGrath.