Pensioner with multiple health issues appeals for more home help hours

Ger Scully

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Ger Scully

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editor@tullamoretribune.ie

TT20583

Michael O'Connor

A TULLAMORE pensioner with a number of health issues has appealed to the Health Service Executive [HSE] to allocate him more home help hours each week.

Michael O'Connor, who lives on his own at Lann Elo at the back of Clontarf Road, currently receives one hour 30 minutes of home help each week.

“That's supposed to be enough to clean the house and provide personal care for me,” Mr O'Connor outlined to the Tribune.

Aged over 70 years, Mr O'Connor has heart problems, mobility issues as well as COPD and spent a period in hospital in the recent past.

He added that he also has a chest infection and fungal infections in his foot and groin.

The Tullamore native said he had contacted the HSE in relation to his case but they maintained they did not have the resources to increase his home help hours.

When contacted by the Tribune a HSE spokesperson said they did not comment on individual cases but stressed that resources were under considerable pressure at present due to Covid-19.

Mr O'Connor outlined that he also suffers from blackouts which means he cannot take a shower on his own and needs assistance.

“I have been looking for extended hours for a long time and should get at least one hour five times a week,” he outlined.

Mr O'Connor added that he did not want to go back into hospital. “I want to stay clear of the virus. I might as well be sitting at home as taking up a bed,” added the Tullamore man.

He stressed that he had found it very lonely and difficult cocooning during the Covid-19 lockdown but revealed that a volunteer from the agency Alone rang him every day to see how he was coping.