How community living has changed local woman’s life

Over the last number of years there has been a major change in provision of support for those with a disability.

There has been a move away from caring for people in residential institutions to supporting them to live in their local communities.

Community living offers the prospect of an improved lifestyle and quality of life over institutional care for people with disabilities.


Over the last seven years the HSE has opened eight community based homes across Donegal.

These houses were chosen carefully based on the needs and wishes of the residents and their families.

Residents have settled very well into their new homes and have become an integral part of their communities, making friends with neighbours and participating in local activities.

Teach Owey in West Donegal is an example of community living.

Ann Boyle, who is a resident at Teach Owey, described her new abode as lovely, airy and bright.

“It is peaceful,” she continued.

“It is nice to live here.


“You are very safe,” she said.

Jackie Reilly, who is a Key Worker in Teach Owey, said by working with Ann, staff were able to develop a personal plan to help her achieve her goals to ensure she is involved in the community.

“Living here is really benefiting Ann.

“She’s a lot happier.

“She goes out with her friends, she goes out on the bus every day and she loves her new home,” Jackie said.

Besides completing chores within the home, Ann attends an intellectual disability inclusion hub at the Angle Day Centre five days a week.

Stephanie Brennan, Manager at the Angle Day Centre, said the staff love welcoming Ann.

“She does a lot of activities within the unit and then she avails of a lot outside the unit as well.

“We try and get involved in the community as much as possible,” she said.

Between charity shopping, going to the cinema and chair yoga, Ann has plenty of activities to keep her busy.

“We would go out for tea, for coffee, whatever she wants it is her choice, we would listen to whatever she wants to do,” Stephanie continued.

“She expresses that she loves this house and she loves the freedom.

“She is happy with the way things are now at the minute.

“It has really changed her perspective on life,” Stephanie concluded.

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