Adams asks Minister for Disabilities to meet Louth citizens regarding future residential care
Louth Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams has raised the future residential care of people with intellectual disabilities in the Dáil this afternoon.
Speaking in the Dáil chamber on the Government’s policy of decongregation, which commits to move all of the residents of the St Mary's Drumcar facility to smaller community settings, Teachta Adams said:
“Sinn Féin supports decongregation, evidence backs the
assertion that it delivers better quality of life for people in residential
accommodation. But we have to be sensible and practicable about it.
For many long term residents, Drumcar is home.
“These families are not against decongregation, but they have simply not been consulted at all by the HSE regarding the future plans for their loved ones. This is unacceptable.
“Their experience of the HSE has been terrible and they have real fears that if their loved ones are moved their quality of care will reduce, they may be moved to inappropriate locations and they will be traumatised by being taken out of their familiar surroundings.
“Other families have cared for their loved ones all their lives. They have described themselves to me as ‘the first generation to bring their disabled babies home’.
“These people, members of the Dundalk Parents and Friends of the Intellectually Disabled, now elderly themselves, have met a brick wall in terms of the future care of their now adult children. They have been campaigning for years and working with the HSE, Louth County Council, and the Department of Housing in order to provide future homes in Dundalk for their children.
“Minister, one size does not fit all, particularly for people with additional needs. For every family who wants their relation to remain in Drumcar, there is another family who can’t wait for their loved one to be moved to a community setting.
“Will you meet with these families to hear their experiences and discuss the future care of our disabled citizens?”