The Impact of COVID-19 on People Ageing with an Intellectual Disability in Ireland Report LaunchA special report on COVID-19 and older people with an intellectual disability (ID) has been launched as part of Wave 4 of the Intellectual Disability Supplement to the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (IDS-TILDA). The report finds that COVID-19 was well managed in ID services but calls for decisions to impose further restrictions during the pandemic to be data-driven to the same extent as they have been for the non-ID population. A small number of COVID-19 infections and no deaths were recorded amongst participants when the survey was carried out during the initial lockdown of 2020. ‘The Impact of COVID-19 on People Ageing with an Intellectual Disability in Ireland’ report was formally launched by the Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, Minister Anne Rabbitte TD on 3rd December to mark the United Nations International Day of People with Disabilities. The launch included a presentation of the report’s key finding and a panel discussion.
Broadcaster Olivia O’Leary led a panel discussion with a variety of stakeholders, exploring different perspectives on the pandemic and lockdown.
Participants on the panel highlighting how best practice was implemented for people with ID in Ireland included Dr Alison Hartnett (Acting CEO, National Federation of Voluntary Service Providers),Professor Sean Kennelly (Consultant Physician in Geriatric and Stroke Medicine, Tallaght University Hospital) and Lisa Lavelle (Director of Nursing, Daughters of Charity Disability Support Service).
From an international perspective, Professor Chris Hatton (Manchester Metropolitan University) praised the work of services in Ireland in protecting people with ID, and the research of IDS-TILDA, saying he hoped similar research (conducted at a more localised level) in the UK would be published soon. Professor Philip McCallion, Co-Investigator of IDS-TILDA, highlighted the heterogeneity of experiences across the United States, given the size of the country, but drew particular attention to the deep impact of COVID-19 in the North-East of the USA, where he works at Temple University, Pennsylvania.
Mei Lin Yap, a PPI contributor and steering committee member with IDS-TILDA, spoke of her lived experience of the lockdown, and of the importance of social contacts during the lockdown.
• Olivia O'Leary, Moderator and Broadcaster
• Dr Alison Harnett, Acting Chief Executive Officer, National Federation of Voluntary Service Providers
• Professor Sean Kennelly, Consultant Physician in Geriatric and Stroke Medicine, Tallaght University Hospital
• Professor Philip McCallion, Co PI IDS-TILDA, Professor and Director, School of Social Work, Temple University, Philadelphia
• Professor Chris Hatton, Professor of Social Care, Manchester Metropolitan University
• Lisa Lavelle, Director of Nursing, Daughter's of Charity
• Ms Mei Lin Yap, PPI Contributor and IDS-TILDA Steering Committee Member