Overnight Respite Care provision under pressure – Gerry Adams TD
Sinn Féin TD for Louth Gerry Adams has called for greater investment in respite care following the provision of a PQ to party colleague Louise O’Reilly TD which shows a significant decline in overnight respite hours over recent years, including in the CHO 8 which covers Louth and East Meath.
Teachta Adams said:
“The HSE and associated agencies funded by it provide respite care to children and adults with disabilities. This is a hugely important service for person who is disabled and for their family.
"According to the Department of Health the number of overnight respite hours has dropped from 180,901 in 2014 to 158,296 last year. CHO 8 saw a drop from 17,637 to 16,312 in the same period. Last year alone there was a drop of 17,259 overnight respite hours.
"Last December Minister Finian Mc Grath announced an additional €10 million euro’s for respite services. This is to include an additional respite house in each of the nine CHO areas. It will also provide 19,000 respite nights.
"While this is a welcome investment the reality is that when set against the loss of hours last year this investment will only provide 1,741 additional hours for 2018. This is significantly less than is required. There will also be 591 fewer day respite sessions.
"According to Census 2016 there are over twenty thousand people in Louth /East Meath with a disability. In December there were only 9 available respite beds for adults with intellectual disabilities. There are also no emergency services.
"Much more needs to be done to support those living with a disability and those who provide care.
"Speaking to the Taoiseach in the Dáil three months ago, I proposed that he provide 2 million additional home help hours, and 2,500 homecare packages. This would cost €72 million. I also proposed that the government increase respite care hours by 20%. That would cost €13 million euros.
"The government has failed to act. This is not good enough. Citizens with disabilities and their carers have rights and the responsibility of the government must be to support those rights and to resource them."