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Senator Jennifer Murnane O'Connor

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

I congratulate Senator Ruane on winning the non-fiction book of the year award last night. We are very proud of her.
I welcome Senator Ardagh’s mother to the Gallery. We are all proud of her as she does a great job as Fianna Fáil leader in the Seanad. Máire herself was a councillor and mayor of south Dublin.
I want to impress on the Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for older people that the Government is not doing enough for the elderly. Will he and the Department address the challenges in properly meeting the care needs of our oldest people? It is failing to deliver a sustained and significant increase in home care support. This week a Fianna Fáil Private Members’ motion was put forward in the Dáil. It was based on what I and my party colleagues are hearing on the doorsteps from families of older people who are struggling to provide care for their loved ones.
Long-term demand for care is continuing to grow. We now have the scandalous situation of 6,200 people waiting for their home care packages to be approved. I know from speaking to families that they are being put through great hardship in applying for and also getting the packages. Another area which I constantly raise is the carer's allowance application. People can wait from between three to eight months for the allowance which is unacceptable.
We need to have proper support in place as we are living longer. We need to be helping older people and those with disabilities, affording people if they wish the opportunity to grow old and remain in their own homes. Last week, Fianna Fáil published the Housing (Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability) Bill 2018. The Bill will provide for a decision to be made on a housing adaptation grant within four weeks from the receipt of an application to a local authority.