Sunday, December 13, 2015
the abuse-neglect behind the stats for those living with a disability in Ireland todayfo
The article in today’s Irish Times by Dr. Clonan sent people into their own personal painful stories of experiences.
I honestly didnt think it was as bad as it is, and yet it appears that it is so.
Many now indicate that the situation is dire, appealing to members of the Dail from all corners of Ireland for their childrens’ needs fall on deaf ears.
It does seem it is but the tip of the iceberg, raging waters of poverty of equipment and services and appliances for all four counties screams from the pages of disability groups and especially the mothers and fathers who are asked to cope against all the odds.
In disbelief of one persons story i asked another who had multiple disabled children, ‘can it really be this bad?’
Confirmation came through her own story.
So the economy is on the rise, the country is seemingly getting back on its feet, people are baying for the extra pennies that were lopped off wages within both public sector and private sector and yet not one disablity group seems to have crawled from the mire of austerity in any shape or form and it doesnt look, indeed as if disabled children ad adults, life style chances of enhancement is coming soon, if ever.
In one family alone an older child’s powered wheelchair has cost a single mother over 3,000k and the second child coming after is squeezed into an already far too small chair as it is.
Both children have life limiting conditions.
The house is set out like a mini hospital and there is constant lock-down in health crisis, one after the other.
Splints, shoes, tubing, dressings, medicines etc all have to be juggled alongside the the far larger bills for the wheelchairs and orthotics and shoes and apparatus baying for the limited funds within that household.
Hospital runs, appointments and emergencies are all occurring, sleepless nights, baby sitters to cover staying with one while the mother is in the hospital with the other.
In another case four children are disabled.
Again the same seems to be the case, a 4,500k wheelchair for a child is needed. Mothers are going to companies who make up from bits and pieces of chairs a half decent one for the child or go to a second hand internet forum to find something similar and do payments in small chunks.
The days seem endless, mothers online for this and that. The exhaustion much be profound.
The HSE promising to pay back when parents get a chair but this never happens of course.
The despair is reeking through these stories, but who really cares?
Fund raisers and fund raising are the order of the day but many families find ‘what another fund raiser, what for NOW?’ people are asking.
The fund raisers are driving the cash strapped public weary and bleary and the good samaritan is exhausted with the clang from the clash of coins in the next begging needy disabled family or group or for the family group.
Where can all this end?
Adults too find it very tough indeed.
Over 60% of those getting wheelchairs from the HSE services are dissatisfied with the ones they have received, and are seen and felt not fit for the disability they personally have. (Dr. Gowran)
The idea that the wheelchair is more a luxury than a prosthesis is par for the course.
Even to the eyes of those working within the HSE, if a person stands up, all eyes are agog ‘i thought he/she was disabled’ but most know that there are so many variables that most using wheelchairs are actually able to use their legs, but with such limitations to make it impossible or too painful or tiring.
Not only do we have those with disabilities living below the poverty line we have parents trying to fund the care and needs of growing children and dependent adults also living in poverty as well.
When the Hse runs a second hand ‘outfit’ for second hand wheelchairs, its a disaster.
Wheels fly off and a sick person goes into a wall. (this commentator’s).
Wheelchairs slither into the muck on the side of a slight gradient, and the user told ‘ah sure they were never made for wet paving. (this commentator’s), yet this time the commentator was told it was because the bar at the back had not locked into place, but as it happened again, i looked at it and sure enough it was in correct position. Systems failure in other words, or dodgy indoor powered wheelchair never meant for paths going south as in gradient.
Fact being, wheelchairs now-a-days are slithering and slithering off course into a divet to the side could have been fatal.
I heard of one case of a person going into a river in a wheelchair.
So how on earth can we be very chuffed to be pulling away from austerity and getting back into the black.
Where is it reflected that Ireland is in recovery?
I do not see it.
The mothers and fathers of disabled children do not see it.
And adults with disabilities are still not getting well paid jobs, if jobs at all and the poverty of disease, weighs heavily on top of the poverty of services.
We are in crisis – the disability movements are in crisis and so too are those with disabilities. We need to see major changes and shifts of emphasis.
Most people caring for sick and disabled children, if given a break and some leaway can offer more in spades.
Most adults with a disability as well, given the chances, the transport etc offer just as good a career path as abled bodied persons, but employers it seems, think maybe they are more of a liability.
Tosh i say.
The only liability is lack of change, empowerment, rights and equality.
I am enraged to hear the stories that i have placed here in this article from only three families i already know about.
The tip of the iceberg