Shortage of OTs causing problems for elderly seeking grants

A Sligo councillor says elderly people are now having difficulty getting grants for improvements or renovations to their homes because of a shortage of occupational therapists.

When elderly people or those discharged from hospital apply for certain grants, they need an occupational therapist to come to their home to see what works need to be done.

But Fianna Fail Councillor Martin Baker says that, because of cutbacks and overwork, OTs will not now visit applicants in their homes unless they are already on a list.

Sligo county councillors, at their meeting this week, unanimously passed a motion from Cllr Baker calling for the HSE to review the community OT services in the North West.

He says the situation will lead to unnecesary attendances at emergency departments and admissions to hospital and nursing homes, all of which will cost more money.