I had tumour of the spinal as a child, and went deaf at 7 years old and went to St. Marys’ school in Cabra Dublin.I’m a paraplegic and have trained throughout my life, and now work in Derrane as CE Supervisor for older people and those with physical and sensory disabilities. That means I provide home help support and PA services, and work exhausted on behalf of people with disabilities to support their rights. A lot of clients live in fear of loosing hours, or have been faced with cuts in hours with no appeal available. I fought for my own PA services. I’ve 37 hours which are really just for work. It also provides for an advocate to support my administrative work and helps drive me to work 4 days a week. I fight for the rights of people with disabilities. My issues of main concern are transport especially. I’m on the rural transport committee here in Roscommon. It’s a fantastic service here but the methodology is wrong- there’s no ramps on the bus for example. Revenue needs to play a stronger role in transport to listen and learn what the issues are. They should be involved in the decision making and planning process. I’d love to get a taxi but that’s never an option, I’m just lucky enough to have friends to enable me to have a social life. I’d like to be able to feel like I can just go somewhere on my own. I don’t have the funding to pay for a van.
I’m independent enough yet limited. I’ve my own car, own house which I pay a mortgage on, and bills, and I’d be devastated by any cut in PA hours. There’s also talks of ‘sharing hours’. This is totally inacceptable. Sharing PA hours implies that you’d never know who’s coming in to support you, and your splitting your hours of support.
Finally just to emphasis that home help which is allocated on a 30-45 minutes is not enough to support a person for example to get up out of bed, showered etc. this needs to be changed to a respectable hour of service. Older people are afraid of going into a nursing home. People need to be supported to stay at home with adequate hours.
Does that seem fair to you?