Inclusion Ireland as a national advocacy organisation calls for a commitment from the government to finally move on from institutionalisation for people with intellectual disabilities.

At Inclusion Ireland we are struck by the strong message in HIQA’s Disability Overview Report 2021 that life is better for people not living in group homes or larger settings.

We know there are still 2400 people living in group homes. We also know that 1300 people under the age of 65 are living in nursing homes. We need urgent action in Budget 2023 and a firm commitment from government to finally move on from institutionalisation in all its forms.

We know that living in a smaller home does not guarantee a good life on its own. Having choice and control about where you live, who you live with and how you live, with appropriate person centred supports is the only way forward to ensure people’s human rights are front and centre to live a truly meaningful and full life.

Derval McDonagh, CEO of Inclusion Ireland says “Government needs to figure out a way of stopping institutionalisation happening in the first place. This means having a multi annual plan for housing and supported living for disabled people. In this way supports can be planned over time with a focus on the persons rights, rather than reacting to crisis after crisis. Only dealing with crises leads to more institutionalisation.”

The Disability Capacity Review action plan needs to be published now. The thousands of people with Intellectual disabilities living at home with their families right now with no access to a plan around their future, need to see this plan. This will give some hope to people who are living with elderly family members while waiting for a home of their own and shift the emphasis from one of being cared for to a life of choice and control which every person deserves.

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