3,000 respite bed nights taken out of service in Kilkenny in just three years
By COLIN BARTLEY
CLOSE to 3,000 bed nights, used to care for people with disabilities while their live-in carers take a break, have been taken out of service in Kilkenny and Carlow over the space of three years.
The most recent figures received for 2019 shows no let-up in the decline in respite nights.
New figures obtained by local TD Bobby Aylward show there were 4,521 respite overnights in Carlow and Kilkenny in 2015 but just 1,721 in 2018 – a drop of 2,800 or 62%.
Respite care is the service of short-term assisted living which allows carers, such as parents of people with disabilities or children of parents who can no longer care for themselves, take a short break from the duty of care allows while the patient stays in a safe environment with the required staff and facilities.
Deputy Aylward has criticised this 2,800 night per annum decrease in the number of respite nights available in Carlow and Kilkenny.
“Nationally, there has been a drop of some 26,523 respite overnights for people with disabilities between 2015 and 2018. How can this be the case when the demand continues to grow?
“Every week I hear from people across the constituency who are fighting for respite overnights for their loved ones. It would suit the Government well to realise that carers save this country millions of euros each year. It’s a small ask for more overnight respite to be put in place.
“As it stands, the figures for 2019 don’t look as though they will be any better. From the beginning of the year to the end of June there were just 812 respite overnights in Carlow-Kilkenny. If the current rate continues there will be even less this year than in 2018.”