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Tuesday, 11th July 2017

Launch of Family Carers Ireland Pre-Budget Submission 2018

Community

Pictured at the launch of Family Carers Ireland Pre-Budget Submission 2018 in Dublin appealing for more supports for family carers are Eamon O’ Fearghail, who cares full time for his widowed mother Cathleen, aged 87, who has Alzheimer’s Disease, Catherine Cox of Family Carers Ireland and Dorothy Meaney, Ireland’s Carer of the Year who cares for her wheelchair bound daughter, Zondra (31), who has a tissue disorder which adversely affecting every part of her body.

One in twenty people in Ireland today is a family carer, collectively providing €10 billion worth of unpaid care each year. By 2030, demographic changes will require one in five to take on a caring role.

Family carers are plugging the holes in an inadequate health system, often at a high personal cost financially, physically and emotionally.

Family Carers Ireland is asking Government to support family carers, a group who save the state billions of euro, in Budget 2018.

Catherine Cox of Family Carers Ireland said, “Throughout our 22 resource centres across Ireland, it is clear that family carers are under-supported and find it very difficult to access vital services, such as respite care to give them a much-needed break. This is not something new but with home help hours cut significantly over the last number of years combined with an increase in the number of people requiring care, it is a seriously growing problem.

The responsibility for caring is not being balanced appropriately between family, community and the state. This is the theme of our year-long “Share the Care” campaign. The present reality is that family carers prop up the health system and are expected to fill the gaps in resources in the system regardless of the detrimental costs to their physical and mental health.”

In its Pre-Budget Submission 2018 Family Carers Ireland is calling on Government to make three firm commitments to ‘share the care’:

  1. Immediate investment in homecare – carers urgently need a right to homecare. For too long homecare has been underfunded, inconsistent and inequitable. Family carers can’t continue unsupported while waiting for legislation to be enacted.
  2. Support all carers to ensure they aren’t financially burdened by their caring role. Three quarters of family carers don’t receive the Carers Allowance. Priorities for Family Carers Ireland include increasing the Carer Support Grant to €2,000 and reinstating the Bereavement Grant of €850 to help with funeral costs.
  3. Allocate funding for a new National Carers’ Strategy (2018-2022). With more funding available, this strategy must be adequately funded to implement real supports for family carers.

 “Our home and respite services are painfully underfunded and family carers are fighting desperately for supports. While the Government’s recent launch of a consultation on a statutory right to home care is welcome and a necessity, carers and those they care for it cannot wait any longer for adequate services. The need for investment is now in Budget 2018” said Catherine Cox.

Family Carers Ireland provides a range of supports and services for family carers through its 22 resource centres nationwide and advocates fairness for carers. The organisation is currently running its year-long ‘Share the Care’ campaign to help family carers self-identify and seek supports. www.familycarers.ie

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