Care for disabled adults needs addressed

A GILFORD mother whose disabled teenage son will have to travel to Dungannon for care next year when he turns 18 said local adult services should be put in place to cater for older people with disabilties.

Bernie Scullion’s son Christopher suffers from a range of physical and mental health difficulties, meaning he spends most of his time in a wheelchair and requires round-the-clock care.

Bernie, a full-time carer who also suffers with her own health difficulties, is concerned for her son’s future in having to travel some distance to avail of the services he needs.

The mother-of-two said Christopher’s care at Donard shcool and Willowgrove in Gilford is second to none, but added that when people with such severe disabilities reach 18 and require adult care local facilties are not there for them.

“I feel the care provided up until they are 18 is really brilliant in this area, but when they grow up there are less and less facilities close by for them,” she said.

“I would love to think Christopher could get the care he needs locally, instead of having to travel away for it.”

And Upper Bann MP David Simpson, who Bernie questioned on the issue, agreed saying more dedicated services are needed.

“I think we do need some more help for children post-19,” he said.

“Considering the number of children in local schools who will eventually require help as adults, we need to be planning for the future and putting services in place to deal with that.

“It is a very real concern for families who have maybe had a lot of help and support until their children reach that age, and are then left wondering ‘what’s next’ when their children become adults.”