Sinn Féin spokesperson on Disability and Carers Pauline Tully TD has called for the Government to put in place, as a matter of priority, a roadmap accompanied by adequate resources for the reinstatement of homecare, respite and support services for people with intellectual disabilities.
Teachta Tully said:
“While there is a plan in place for pubs, restaurants and tanning salons to reopen, there has been nothing put in place, as of yet, for the reopening of homecare, respite and support services for people with intellectual disabilities.
“The fact that the Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, could not give a date for the resumption of these services yesterday was not good enough. People with intellectual disabilities and their families have been without many of these services since restrictions were put in place over three months ago. The Government has excluded these services from their ‘Roadmap for Reopening Ireland’, leaving families without much needed clarity.
“A recent report by Family Carers Ireland highlighted how even before the Covid-19 pandemic, many family carers were already providing high and unsustainable levels of care. Sadly, this has now been greatly exacerbated with many carers providing care twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
“This is having a severe adverse effect on their mental health; with 60% of respondents worried that this has declined.
“This is also having a significant negative impact in terms of routine for carers and those that they care for. Many families are reporting that without these services their loved ones are withdrawing and regressing.
“Ireland ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2018. Under Article 25 of the Convention, people with disabilities have the right to the enjoyment of the highest standard of health without discrimination on the basis of their disability. It is vital that these rights are respected during this period.
“To ensure this, the Government needs to restore these vital services for people with intellectual disabilities and their families as a matter of priority.”