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Order of Business

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Senator Mary Moran

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

I thank the Leas-Chathaoirleach and can assure Senator Terry Leyden that it is worth waiting for.
I extend my sincere condolences to the family of Donal Walsh. He made a lasting impression and was an inspiration for young and old. I have no doubt that his memory will live on as a powerful advocate on suicide. I, too, would welcome another debate on the issue. It is a discussion that needs to be held continually. Last night in my home town a positive mental health forum that I had set up in January had that conversation on suicide, dispelling the myths about it. It was well attended. It is only by coming forward and speaking out that we can offer help to one another.
I welcome the launch by the Minister of State, Deputy Kathleen Lynch, of the national standards for residential services for children and adults with disabilities, which was long overdue. I am delighted that the systems standards of HIQA will be in place to ensure vulnerable people and those with disabilities will have the safeguards they need in order that they will be protected and their quality of life will be enhanced in every way. However, I have grave concerns about the number of people with disabilities who need access to residential care services. There is a difficulty for those trying to access such care. While improving standards, I hope HIQA will ensure the number of beds and services available for people with disabilities will not decrease.
One item of great concern concerns care in the home for the elderly. I refer specifically to the case, brought to my attention in recent days, of a 90 year old woman in my locality who fell three weeks ago. She has not been able to lie down since because of a broken arm, diabetes and a heart complaint. She has been forced to sleep on a chair at night because no orthopaedic bed is available. We spoke earlier about human dignity and people's rights. It is appalling that in a developed country an orthopaedic bed cannot be provided. I do not mind what cutbacks or cuts to services are made, but we owe this to elderly people and all other citizens. A 90 year old woman is struggling when the problem could be rectified so simply. Such persons need the services provided, including continual home help.