The Minister for Disabilities Finian McGrath TD, today officially opened a new respite house in Co Wexford to support people with disabilities and their families.

The Minister said, “This Government is committed to providing a range of accessible respite care supports for people with a disability, and their families.

“I am acutely aware of the pressure on carers of people with disabilities who are often under tremendous strain to keep going. That is why I sought and secured an additional €10m for this year, to specifically enhance respite services”.

The Minister pointed out that there are now eight new houses open across the country, with another four to open in the coming weeks. “These new houses will enable carers to get a well-deserved break and to maintain their own health and wellbeing. At the beginning of this year I requested the HSE to give the utmost priority to putting these new facilities and services in place without delay”, the Minister added.

The Minister referred to the different ways in which respite is being provided. “We have initiated a number of additional innovative respite solutions. These alternative solutions include home respite, Saturday and evening clubs, summer camps and many other flexible, family and child centred respite options. Hundreds of extra people, and their families have benefited from this type of respite break, this year” he said.

Referring to last weeks budget the Minister said that the additional funding for 2019 will be focused on a number of priority areas in disability services, arising from ongoing demographic changes. These include the expansion of community disability services to meet the needs of school-leavers, 100 new therapy posts to address assessment of need waiting lists for children with disabilities, Personal Assistance and Home Support service hours, residential places and respite places.