Half of all adults with a disability have trouble coping with daily tasks - study


MORE THAN half of all adults living with a disability say they have experienced difficulties going shopping, getting away for a holiday, taking part in community life and socialising in public venues, according to a new study.

The National Disability Survey from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) also reveals that 56 per cent of people with a disability who live in their own homes get help with everyday activities.

Family members are the main source of support for people with disabilities living in the community with 42 per cent of individuals receiving assistance with routine tasks from relatives who live with them.

One-third of adults with a disability who live in private households said they experienced difficulties doing routine tasks inside their home because of their disability. A further 19 per cent said they had a lot of difficulty carrying out everyday activities on their own.

The study shows people living in nursing homes and hospitals had higher levels of difficulty doing everyday activities such as washing and cooking.

Some 86 per cent of adults living in healthcare settings are unable to take a bath or shower by themselves compared to 31 per cent of people who reside in their own homes.

While some adults with a disability said they had made improvements to their home to help assist them carry out tasks on their own, 52 per cent of adults in private households said a lack of money meant they were unable to adapt their homes.

People with a disability who live in their own homes are far more likely to take part in social activities than those residing in nursing homes.

However, more than half of people with disabilities in private households reported having had problems when out in public settings such as bars, restaurants and shops.

Three-quarters of people with disabilities in private households said they did not regularly use public transport with most saying this was because they experienced difficulties getting on and off buses, trains, the Dart or Luas. Many respondents also reported problems transferring from one service to another and to getting to transport hubs.

Fine Gael said the study findings showed that the Government was failing in its duty to offer assistance to people with disabilities.

‘‘The problems identified in this survey concern activities that most of us would consider integral to our daily lives. I see no reason why people with disabilities should be forced to face barriers like this in the 21st century,’’ said the party’s disability spokesman David Stanton.

‘‘It is very obvious that much more needs to be done to improve the lives of people with disabilities. The Government must fulfil its commitments to these people and their carers,’’ he added.