Turning the sod: Richard Leonard, Michael Noonan, Pat Murphy, Máire O’Leary, Ger O’Shea, Helen McInerney and Charlie McDonnell Picture: Liam Burke
THERE was good news for families of children with disabilities this week as Deputy Michael Noonan turned the sod on a new €2.5m respite home for St Gabriel’s in Limerick.
The purpose-built six bedroom facility at Monateen, Mungret has been designed to meet the individual respite needs of children with multiple disabilities who have associated complex medical conditions.
Máire O’Leary, CEO of St. Gabriel’s said: “Children and their families who experience the need for this level of medical care deserve the best. Providing regular respite breaks supports the family in caring for their child at home in the long term.
"When up and running, the respite house will be a place where families will feel secure leaving their child for short-term breaks knowing that above all staff will deliver a level of care that is compassionate and considerate to each child’s needs.”
There are at present over 150 children in the Mid-West region who are dependent on technology for their care, including mechanical ventilation or feeding tubes.
The house will have six adapted en-suite bedrooms, overhead hoists for ease of care, piped suction and oxygen throughout, with well-equipped clinical and nursing spaces, while there will also be a playroom and activities area, kitchen and dining room, sensory bathroom, garden and outdoor access to Mungret Park and playground.
"The respite house will be fitted out to the highest of standards, much thought has been given to the design in order that it is as accessible, fun and light filled as possible," said the St Gabriel's CEO.
The overall cost of the development is €2.5m. The site on which the development is being built was purchased with monies fundraised locally.
€1m was received from the JP McManus Foundation and St. Gabriel’s has now commenced a campaign to secure the €1m that is outstanding for the project.
Discussions are ongoing with the HSE to support staffing of the unit, which is expected to open in 2019.