Author: Frances Russell (Kate's mother)
Our daughter, Kate Ellen Prendergast, who was born in March 1986 has a full life, comparable to any young woman of her age. She goes to the Gym, has painting classes, belongs to a dance group etc. She loves to party and has a wide group of friends. Unfortunately, she still lives with her Mum, which irks her. (Mum is not much fun) and unfortunately again she cannot do any of those fun things without others arranging things for her and accompanying her. She loves going to respite because she can hang out with other young people, the difference being, some of these young people are carers and take on responsibilities that Kate is incapable of doing. That is why, we her parents would love to see her living with these kind of people and we can takemore of a backseat but still be able to oversee her transition and have her over for dinner or overnight as we would our other daughter while we are still young enough to do this . The reality is that fully supported accommodation is not just out there in abundance and is only mostly there for people who have no other option ie. parents have died. Even then, housing is so short, they can be put into unsuitable housing with carers coming in for a few hours a day to help with shopping, cooking etc. That is not the lonely sort of life we want our daughter to have. Incidentally, Kate has Downs Syndrome.
Frances Russell and Paul Prendergast.