Capacity issues at the Riverwalk House in Carndonagh have left just one bed available for respite to 46 service users in Inishowen.
The Riverwalk facility is currently providing respite for two adults in need of emergency support.
The remaining bed is available to 41 adults and 5 children with intellectual disabilities. Access is being determined by the service users’ compatibility with the people who are currently in residence.
While priority service users are being offered accommodation in alternative respite centres, Councillor Albert Doherty is calling for the issues to be urgently addressed.
The Sinn Féin councillor brought the matter to the fore at both the Regional Health Forum West and the December meeting of Donegal County Council.
Speaking at the council meeting, Cllr Doherty said that family carers are a bedrock of the country and that HSE spending must allow for the delivery of increased respite, including residential beds and increased support.
Cllr Doherty’s motion was passed, calling on the council to contact Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, Minister of State Anne Rabbitte, and the HSE to ensure the resumption and provision of increased and adequate respite beds and residential support for both children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
The council also agreed to request “that the pivotal and supportive role of carers who selflessly provide care for their family and relatives at home is acknowledged and that the carers immediate needs for support, additional access for respite support and mental well being is met with increased government assistance.”
A spokesperson for the HSE last week stated that the need for residential placements for the adults in ongoing emergency respite care in Riverwalk Respite House has been noted and additional respite beds in Co. Donegal will be progressed if required funding allocation is received in 2021.