Ireland – Need of flexible services to deal with older people with an intellectual disability

To read on Irish Examiner website:

No care plans for special needs elderly

By Catherine Shanahan, Irish Examiner Reporter and  Noel Baker, Senior Reporter

Thursday, June 16, 2016

People with an intellectual disability are in many cases now outliving their carers, typically their parents.

ElderlyPeopleOnBench_large

A new study also found that many families of people with an intellectual disability have not planned or even discussed future care plans, including in cases where the person may require residential services later in life.

The report, which builds on data collected as part of the continuing longitudinal study on ageing in Ireland, also found that families felt there needed to be flexible services to deal with older people with an intellectual disability, as opposed to the current system which is viewed as “one size fits all”.

There were also calls for more supports for sibling caregivers who said they felt they were not being properly supported in their role as carers.

Prof Damien Brennan of the School of Nursing and Midwifery in Trinity College Dublin said because people with an intellectual disability are now living longer, including outliving their parents, it raises questions over how the State responds as the care role is passed along the generations.

“That has created a new caring dynamic. Often siblings become the primary carer. They do not see their own children taking on the carer role in the future.”

He said this could result in a “care deficit” and the possible need for more residential care places in future.

Prof Brennan said the closure in recent years of older institutions was very welcome and no one was suggesting that that model be revisited, but discussion was now needed as to what measures the State would take to ensure people with an intellectual disability had “quality ageing” later in life.

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