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12th Jun 2024

Cork family highlights urgent need for change in Ireland’s care system

Niamh Ryan

A Cork woman has opened up about the lack of care available for her sister with multiple disabilities.

Marie spoke on Lunchtime Live about the ‘total horror story’ her family are experiencing.

Marie’s sister Sarah, who is in her mid-30s, has a severe intellectual disability.

Chronic seizures and behavioural issues mean that Sarah needs around-the-clock care. Their mother was able to provide this care until she herself became ill.

Marie described the situation on air:

“There was nothing in the system to say my mother was no longer fit to care and we must find a solution; there is no planning in place in the system,” she said.

According to Marie, social workers came to the house to do extensive assessments. However, despite acknowledging that the situation was unacceptable, there was no follow-up.

“I find it outstanding that on a national level, my sister who was diagnosed when she was three, could not live independently from that point on.”

Marie’s sister now currently lives in Cork University Hospital full time, and has for the last year.

According to Marie, it’s the only place left where her sister can be properly looked after.

“She’s living in a medical acute assessment unit; it isn’t the right place, not in any shape or form, but having said that, the nursing care and the level of staff is very good,” she said.

Marie has said that carers need Irish people to advocate for the them. Without this, the situation will continue to happen to families all over Ireland.