Sinn Féin - On Your Side

We must do more than thank our carers - we must support them

12 June, 2006


Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Disability, Mid Ulster MLA Geraldine Dougan speaking at the start of carers' week has said that we need to do much more than recognise the invaluable role of carers in our society and called for priority resources, particular to expand and improve the provision of respite care.

Ms Dougan said:

"We need to do much more than recognise the invaluable role of carers in our society, we need to put in place the resources to support them.

"Throughout Ireland hundreds and thousands of people provide care for the ones they love. Families that have made the decision to care for their loved ones at home should be given as much assistance as possible. They are coping with physical and mental disability, with disability caused by aging. Yet the reality is that in too many cases they are not getting the support the need.

"Providing carers' with respite is essential, yet, there is a serious shortage in the provision of respite care. There are also significant gaps in the provision of care packages for children and adults with disability and a deficit in the provision of mental health services particularly for children.

"We need action and money to support the many people living with disability who are left with little or no support. This means that we need a comprehensive strategy to improve services and the provision of care packages and improve support for carers. All of this also requires a financial commitment.

Sinn Féin believes that we need priority resources, particular to expand and improve the provision of respite care. Sinn Féin are calling:

· Additional resources to secure additional respite beds

· A comprehensive strategy to improve services and the provision of care packages

· Resources to tackle the delay in care packages being put in place during the transition period from Child services to Adult services

"We will be meeting with Mr Goggins in the coming weeks and looking for progress on the issue of respite care." ENDS

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