Our ageing society and changing family structures raises challenges for family care giving of those with an intellectual disability Caring capacity within contemporary families
More of Ireland’s population is living longer now. So too are people with an intellectual disability. These are success stories of modern healthcare and society. Families are the predominant providers of caregiving support for people with an intellectual disability in Ireland, however, the social demographic structure of Irish families has changed radically. At the same time, society is moving away from institutional care of those with an intellectual disability. As people with an intellectual disability age, so too do their families, making family caregiving more difficult and complex.
This also raises the question about our capacity for caring for other ageing family members in our family homes.
As part of Trinity Week’s focus on health in our changing world, a thought provoking conversation-style symposium in Regent House on Tuesday April 11th from 2.30-5pm will examine how changing family social demographics have challenged the caring capacity within contemporary families, during the same period of time when social policy has focused on de-institutionalised care.
Six short presentations will be given highlighting key issues that impact on caregiving within families followed by group discussions. This will include contributions from leading academics examining this aspect of family life, NGO advocates, family carers and older people with an intellectual disability including:
· Sociologist and author of the recently published, Family Rhythms: The Changing Textures of Family Life in Ireland, Dr David Ralph;
· An examination of the present and future sustainability of family care by Dr Damien Brennan of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Trinity;
· Michael Gannon, a young man with Down syndrome who will talk about his direct experience of having an intellectual disability and living with an extended family in adulthood;
· Mark O’Connor of Inclusion Ireland who will speak about overcoming the barriers to sustainable care giving.