Adult disability services are in crisis – Micheál Martin

“Quoted from RTE News”

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has said adult disability services are in crisis and the parents of adult children with disabilities are exhausted, stressed, and beaten down.  He said there was no appreciation in Government of the crisis, and there was a “terrible inertia” at play.

Referencing a number of cases, he spoke about a 19-year-old man named Peter who has complex needs, but for whom respite care and home support has ceased.  “The parents are at breaking point, totally worn out,” he said.

Another patient has severe autism and is prone to violence, and a further case of Gerry, a 57-year-old man whose carer passed away recently. Mr Martin said this was a “devastating complex case”.  He said the services were in “real crisis” and he asked what the Government was going to do.

Responding, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said this was a Government which cared about people with disabilities and cared about the people who look after them.  He said it was a priority for the Government to improve rights and services for people with disabilities.  He said the Government was doing its best to resolve individual issues and complex cases.

Mr Varadkar said the budget for disability services was €2 billion, and this would allow for the recruitment of an extra 100 therapists.

He said there was additional funding for 12 new respite houses, giving family carers a break, and he said medical cards had been extended to children with disabilities regardless of their parents’ income.  He said he was aware of the issues being raised by Mr Martin and understood the complexity around these cases.  He said there would be 39 additional residential places available for people with disabilities in 2019.