Written Answers. - Home Help Service.

Michael Ring

Question:

656 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Health and Children the policy of all the health boards on home help; if a relative can be allowed to be paid as a home help; the exact relations excluded from being a home help; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20675/00]

One of the cornerstones of Government policy in relation to the care of older people is to maintain them in their own homes for as long as possible. The home help service plays a key role in implementing this policy.

Traditionally, it has not been the practice of health boards to engage relatives of older persons to provide a home help service for older people to whom they are related. However, in exceptional circumstances, there have, I understand, been some instances where a distant relative, for example, a cousin, has been employed as a home help.

Question No. 657 taken with No. 568.