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            Family members provide most support to people with a disability


The report National Disability Survey 2006 – Volume 2, published by the CSO today, presents the detailed analyses of the situation of people with a disability in Ireland in the following nine areas: Caring and help from other persons; Attitudes of other people; Transport; Built environment accessibility; Education; Work and training; Social participation; Sport and exercise; and some general issues such as use of medication, health and smoking.


Key findings from the report include:

  • One-third of adults with a disability in private households had some difficulty doing  routine tasks inside their home because of their disability, while a further 19% had a lot of difficulty. Overall, 43% of men had difficulty compared with 59% of women.
  • People living in nursing homes, hospitals and children’s homes had higher levels of difficulty doing everyday activities. For example, 86% had difficulty taking a bath or shower by themselves compared with 31% of persons in private households.
  • Around 56% of persons with a disability in private households received help with their everyday activities. The most common source of help was from family members who lived with the person - 42% of persons in private households who had a disability received such help. 
  • A high proportion of adults with a disability in private households felt supported by the attitudes of their Family (90%), Health and care staff (87%) and Friends (79%).
  • Bathroom adaptations were the most used adaptation in the home with 20% of persons with a disability in private households using them. This proportion rose to 45% of persons aged 75 & over. A further 12% of persons with a disability in private households needed but did not have bathroom adaptations.
  • A lack of money was the most common reason for not having specialised features in the home with over half (52%) of adults in private households with a disability citing this as a reason.
  • Difficulty getting on and off public transport vehicles was given by 16% of persons aged 5 & over in private households as a reason for not using or having difficulty using public transport. Difficulty transferring from one service to another was the next most cited reason (12%), while difficulty getting to the public transport was reported by 9%.
  • Around half of persons with a disability in private households experienced difficulty with Going to town shopping (56%), Going away for a break or holiday (53%), Taking part in community life (54%) and Socialising in a public venue (49%).
  • People with a disability rated their general health as Very good (15%), Good (35%), Fair (38%), Bad (10%) and Very bad (3%). A higher proportion of those living in private households reported that their health was Very good (16% compared with 6% in nursing homes, hospitals and children’s homes).
  • Around one third (32%) of respondents aged 5 & over whose disability limited or affected them before they completed their full-time education indicated that they had stopped their education sooner than they intended because of their disability.
  • Three-quarters (76%) of adults with a disability never avoided doing things because of the reactions of other people, 17% sometimes avoided doing things and 7% frequently or always avoided doing things. Older people were less affected by the attitudes of others.

Editor's note

The report is available on the CSO web site (

For copies of the publications contact:

The Central Statistics Office, Information Section, Skehard Road, Cork

Government Publications Sales Office, Sun Alliance House, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2


Price: €5

For further information:

For further information: contact John McCartney at 01 498 4215, Norita Murphy at 01 498 4295, Gerry Brady at 01 498 4201 or Bernie Ryan at 01 498 4285.


27 January 2010

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