Peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties ‘left in limbo’ af­ter cuts

MONEY SHORT­AGE NO FUNDS TO FI­NANCE HOME RE­FUR­BISH­MENTS

Bray People - - About Greystones - Mary FOG­A­RTY

PEO­PLE WITH dis­abil­i­ties in County Wick­low are be­ing ‘ left in limbo,’ as there is no money avail­able to pay for es­sen­tial re­fur­bish­ments to their homes, it has emerged.

This comes along­side fears that the Gov­ern­ment may con­sider tar­get­ing car­ers’ al­lowances for bud­getary cuts.

Bray man Ge­orge Ea­gar has Parkin­son’s dis­ease and, with his de­bil­i­tat­ing con­di­tion de­te­ri­o­rat­ing, his wife Sheila must adapt a garage to a down­stairs bed­room and bath­room.

She has been told by Wick­low County Coun­cil that while they qual­ify for a grant to cover some of the cost, there is no money avail­able for it.

‘What has re­ally got me is that we’re mar­ried nearly 50 years, I have al­ways owned dogs and had a li­cence. For the first time ever I re­ceived a re­minder, a month in ad­vance, to pay the li­cence,’ said Sheila. ‘What a waste of money. How much must that have cost to send to ev­ery dog owner in Wick­low?’

A spokes­woman for the Wick­low branch of the Car­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion, based in Bray, said that they are aware of a num­ber of sim­i­lar cases across County Wick­low. She added that they are not aware of any other county in Ire- land af­fected by the cuts.

Sheila said that Ge­orge, who used to be a teacher, has a num­ber of symp­toms as­so­ci­ated with the dis­ease and that the up­stairs bath­room in their home is no longer suf­fi­cient for his needs. She must now foot the bill for the work.

‘There are many who sim­ply can’t af­ford to carry out the works them­selves,’ said the Car­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion spokes­woman.

‘We are aware of a num­ber of car­ers who have been passed in prin­ci­pal for the grants but don’t know when they will get the pay­ment.’

She said that many of their mem­bers need to make nec­es­sary changes such as wheel­chair ac­cess and down­stairs bath­rooms.

She added that while the grant is as­sessed by the HSE and pub­lic health nurse, it is the County Coun­cil that awards the grant, with an av­er­age amount of € 30,000.

She also said that the of­fice has been ‘ in­un­dated’ with peo­ple on the half-rate car­ers al­lowance, who are wor­ried about their en­ti­tle­ments.

Sheila Ea­gar and her dog Whis­per at their home on New­court Rd.

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