Saturday, June 24, 2017
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Kathleen Lynch, TD, Minister for primary Care, Social Care (Disabilities/older people) and Mental Health introduces Frontline's first e-publication and in doing so addresses the issues of Standards, Regulation and Quality of life.

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People with disabilities should be given the opportunity to live as full a life as possible and to live with their families, and as part of their communities, for as long as possible. Every person who uses our disability services and our services for older people, is entitled to expect and receive supports of the highest standard and to live in an atmosphere of safety and care.

Frontline contributors illustrate the difficulties associated with independent living for people who live with intellectual disability.

I feel like I would be better off outside of the area. I don’t feel safe in the area because there are some dangerous people there. There were threats being made, and the guards investigated and they asked if there were more threats afterwards. Two weeks later there were more threats made towards me. I said to the social worker “if you can get me out of the area I would be prepared to move anywhere”.

Emma Dunne, whose daughter has autism, says that respite is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.

As a parent cuddling my new baby, ‘respite’ was never a term or an idea that entered my head. To be honest, I had no real understanding of what that term entailed or would later come to mean in my daughter’s life, and mine. When Tess was born, I dreamed of my daughter growing up and all the typical girly adventures she would have and how nice it was that she had a sister to share all these moments with—school, boyfriends, weddings, babies—the list in my head was endless. Then, two and a half years later, without welcome or warning, came the diagnosis of autism.

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Mary Moran on Dundalk footballer Keith Ward’s incredible generosity in giving his EA Sports Cup winners medal to her son Cillian

The 2013/2014 season was a momentous one for Dundalk Football Club. For the first time in 19 years they have just brought the most coveted trophy in League of Ireland soccer back to Oriel Park, by winning the SSE Airtricity League. They also won the EA Sports Cup in a final which saw Oriel Park filled to capacity. Attendance at these matches reached several thousands.

Aisling Lennon and Kathy O’Grady say when parenting a child with intellectual disabilities or supporting an aging spouse, it is important that caregivers take the time to consider how they care for themselves.

On 2 July 2014, the Carers Association launched their Pre-budget Submission 2015, estimating that 187,000 people are providing care in the home in Ireland. Caring activities range from providing occasional assistance, to providing full-time care for an individual, be they a child or an adult. Caring can include supporting an individual with their physical care, assisting with the management of symptoms, and assisting with activities of daily living. Caring also involves providing emotional support for the individual...

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Dr Evan Yacoub, Consultant Psychiatrist, Brothers of Charity Galway, says that respite can take a number of different forms and it is important that services can deliver it in a flexible way.

This article outlines the daily challenges faced by families in caring for those with learning disabilities, and the corresponding need for respite services to...

Joe Wolfe explains that services need to focus more on the health and well-being of those with an ID

People with an intellectual disability are, in general, more likely to have poor health than their non-disabled peers (National Disability Authority 2011). This is recognised internationally and has received much attention over time. While there is an argument that sometimes this poorer health is related to the person’s disability, this is not exclusively the case. Indeed, there is growing evidence that the poorer health is often associated with, and influenced by, health inequality for people with intellectual disabilities...

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Andrew Wormald writes that moving older people with an intellectual disability away from congregated settings into dispersed community living can contribute to their loneliness.

The Causal Pathways as described by Hawkley and Cacioppo (2007) that through loneliness lead to decreased physiological resilience.

After spending a lifetime living in closed institutions older people with an intellectual disability are now being moved away from congregated settings into dispersed community living. For many this is indeed a very positive move, however concerns have also been raised about potential unintended negative impact on health and mortality at least for some (Kozma, Mansa & Beadle-Brown), 2009) Like immigrants in a new country some will reap the rewards and some will struggle to adjust. According to the Intellectual Disability Supplement to The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (IDS-TILDA) around 50% of respondents experienced some degree of loneliness and 15% reported that they felt lonely most of the time...

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Ciara Willett, Suzanne Guerin, Fiona Keogh and Philip Dodd argue that because the current definitions of respite do not include a specific time frame for respite, the qualifying duration of respite is open to interpretation.

Over 5600 people with intellectual disabilities (ID) in Ireland use a form of respite each yeaer (Health Research Board 2011). Although respite provision in Ireland has substantially increased over the past 16 years, it is projected that an additional 1211 individuals will require respite from 2012 to 2016. The Department of Health reported that 8000 individuals received centre-based respite in 2009, with a total pay cost of e52 million, and a total estimated cost of e70-2 million. They suggested that alternative models of respite care might be more cost-effective than the centre-based respite method (Department of Health (2012) Value for money and policy review of disability services in Ireland). The policy and empirical literature explicitly states the need to increase the availability of respite, and carers of individuals with ID commonly request this resource...