UPDATE: Elderly parents need residential home for special needs daughter

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

UPDATE: Elderly parents need residential home for special needs daughter

William and Joan Baldwin from Portlaoise who are waiting for the HSE to find residential care for their daughter

There is no home in sight for a Laois adult with disabilities whose elderly parents are no longer physically able to mind her.

The elderly couple in Portlaoise must continue to wait indefinitely for the HSE to house their adult daughter, according to a statement from the Health Service Executive in response to our recent story.

William and Joan Baldwin had told the Leinster Express recently how they feel unable to cope with the full time care required by their daughter Linda, 45, who has a mental disability and epilepsy.

“We have a constant worry all the time, the pressure is something else. It is difficult. I just never get a minute’s peace. I need respite for her badly, I am very tired,” Joan had said.

“Linda herself would be happier, she would have more friends and more things to do. At home she just looks at the ceiling all day and it’s making her worse,” said William.

“We have been asking the HSE for eight years for residential care. They don't even call back any more. We are left in the dark all the time,” he had said.

In recent years Joan, 75, had a hip replacement and a knee replacement and she has chronic heart problems.
William, 81, a retired soldier, is visually impaired to the point that he can only see shadows and uses a white stick.

The HSE has now given a statement. While they say they cannot comment on the individual case, they say there is no timeline on finding a place in a residential home to a person qualifying for one.

“There is no timeline for a client who meets the criteria for a residential placement within Laois/Offaly Disability services to move from home to a residential placement,” a spokesperson said.

“HSE Disability Services Laois/Offaly will continue to review the resources available, services allocated and waitlist to ensure that requests are met when resources or placements become available. The HSE will continue to engage with the family directly and cannot comment any further at this stage,” the HSE said.

They cannot comment on individual cases, even if a family goes public.

“Maintaining a patient's confidentiality is not only an ethical requirement for the HSE, it is also a legal requirement as defined in the original Data Protection Acts (1988) and (2003). This has been reinforced by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force on May 25th 2018. When a patient or family makes personal information public, this does not relieve the HSE of its duty to preserve/uphold patient confidentiality at all times.”