A man from northern Ireland will lose personal care services due to a lack of funding. 49-year-old DJ Calvert was born without hands or legs. He relies on caregivers to help him with activities of daily living. Without them, he cannot bathe, dress, or use the bathroom.
DJ lives by himself, and had previously been cared for by his mother. His mother can no longer care for him full time. Since March his care has been provided by an independent firm on behalf of the Northern Health Trust.
Initially, a plan was developed so that Calvert would have access to care every day. Unfortunately, a social worker recently informed Calvert that his services were scheduled to end in three weeks. It was evidence, in his opinion, that Northern Ireland’s health and social care system had “crashed.”
Calvert’s mother, Heather, said she “just couldn’t believe it” when she learned her son’s services were being canceled. She assumed the services would be permanent. The last seven months have been a “roller coaster” for Calvert and his family, according to Heather. She also said that the social care system in Ireland is set up with the expectation that family members can provide care when no caregivers are available.
Calvert added that people often don’t want to work as a caregiver since the pay is so low. People can sometimes earn more money working at a grocery store.
Disabled people around the world rely on home health care workers. Without them, millions of people would be forced into institutions. The shortage needs to be fixed because, for millions of people worldwide, care can’t wait.
Harvey, Declan, and Toni Connor. “Disabled Man without Hands or Legs Is Left without Carers.” BBC News, BBC, 14 Nov. 2023, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-67410207.amp.