Family Carers Ireland’s 2018 Respite Weekend will take place in Wexford from 9th – 11th March. Details are below (click on poster to enlarge), and you can now download and print the booking form. (Bookings require €50.00 deposit.)
Family Carers Ireland was successful under the last round of Dormant Accounts funding in securing a grant of €338,464. The specific category of the 2018 funding was former carers. The funding will allow us to roll out a number of initiatives across the country which support not only former carers, but also those who are preparing for the transition from the caring role.
The flagship programme will be our nationwide ‘Plan C’ Programme: Family carers have already had to make one hugely significant, life altering change in their lives. Their original life trajectory, Plan A, has been derailed by the necessity to provide full-time care to a family member, Plan B. The totality of a carer’s role and responsibility mean that they rarely have the space to plan for the time that their caring role will end, Plan C. This was designed in response to feedback from carers regarding the difficulties of transitioning from the caring role, and adjusting to new circumstances.
For many, it means re-entry to the workforce; for others, adapting to new roles later in life and for others becoming more involved in activities they could not focus on while caring. The goal of the ‘Plan C’ project is to give carers the space and structured support to consider their post-care future. Current carers and former carers will be supported to consider what life-skills they have acquired through their years of caregiving.
For some carers this will mean translating their caregiving-acquired skills into examples that will speak to prospective employers. For example, with support a carer could see that through the caring role they have become very adept at navigating bureaucracies in order to secure supports for the person they care for. This could be presented as a very attractive skill to prospective employers.
The Plan C project will also be of benefit to those carers who do not envision returning to the workplace once their caring role has ended. Many carers experience loneliness and social isolation and the postcare transition can be very difficult to navigate. Plan C will support carers to consider how they might best reintegrate with their local community, through volunteering and participation. It will also support them to consider whether the Family Caring mentoring project would be appropriate for them as a way of putting their years of caring experience to further use.
It is intended that all Family Carers Ireland carer groups will be visited by the Programme Manager, to be given the chance to avail of and participate in this exciting initiative.
The mentoring and befriending project is an initiative which will also be funded, and for which regional mentoring coordinators will be recruited. These will offer training to former carers who wish to give back to their community or to put their years of care to good account by mentoring current carers; or who wish to participate in a befriending programme in their local community.
The projects funded will also include important actions to establish relationships with employers to work toward better facilitation of carers returning to the workplace following medium-term leave to meet caring obligations (e.g. carer’s leave); to convene academic researchers in the field of life after care for an information sharing event; and to understand and support those making the unique transition(s) from the caring role required of carers for those with mental health difficulties.
Finally, it will fund counselling or life coaching sessions to former carers who would most benefit from the services in preparing for the life after care.
Our Carlow Careplus Carer of the Year is Patrick Grant. Patrick cared for his wife, Teresa, for fifteen years until she sadly passed away in September this year. Patrick’s love for Teresa shone through everything he did and they did everything together. Teresa is deeply missed by Patrick and his family.
Our Cavan Careplus Carer of the Year is Paula Robinson. Paula cares full time for her 87 year old mother, Mary, who has Alzheimers and her 92 year old father, Jimmy, who is living with bowel cancer and her two children. Paula has been described by her sisters, friends and family as a positive selfless person. Paula is always smiling and has time for everybody in her life. Family and friends wanted her to know how much she is appreciated and as a ‘thank you’ for all she does.
Our Clare Careplus Carer of the Year is Helen Kelly. Helen was nominated by her daughter, Pamela, who says her mum is amazing. Helen has been caring for her son, Ross, who has special needs and also her husband, Michael, who suffered a massive stroke 12 months ago. Clare always has a smile on her face and never looks for anything for herself.
Our Cork Careplus Carer of the Year is Martin Nevin. Martin was nominated by his wife, Evie, who has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. Their two children, Alex (7) and Olivia (2) are also living with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and Martin cares for them. In Evie’s own words “Martin has taken his vows of in ‘sickness and in health’ seriously and she wants him to be recognized for the amazing person he is.
Our North Dublin Careplus Carer of the Year is Tanya Walter. Tanya, a mother of three children, cares for her mother who is a diabetic with CMT disease, an inherited condition which damages the nerves. This has progressively reduced her mobility. Tanya herself is living with CMT as are two of her three children. Tanya provides loving care to her family and is truly a strong, resilient woman.
Our South Dublin Careplus Carer of the Year is Eileen Connors. Eileen cares for her grand-daughter, Casey, aged 5 who was born with Epidermalosa Bulossa – a rare skin disease which involves very high level of care each day. Eileen lovingly cares for Casey and her nominators say she is an amazing lady.
Our Donegal Careplus Carer of the Year is Kathleen McBride. Kathleen cares for her son Martin who lives with Down Syndrome. He also had open heart surgery and a stroke. Kathleen is a lovely lady who looks after her son with pride. Her nominations say she is a great friend and is always there to help other carers and listen with an open heart.
Our Galway Careplus Carer of the Year is Claire Brennan. Claire looks after her husband who has a rare genetic disease and has had several strokes. She has been looking after him for over 30 years. Claire herself has Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma but only worries about her husband. Nominations says Claire is a very selfless person and deserves to be recognised for all that she does for her husband and others.
Our Kerry Careplus Carer of the Year is Liz Forde. Liz is the mother of seven children and three of her children are living with disabilities. Her daughter Ellie has Asperger’s syndrome. Gwen has hypomobility syndrome and requires 24/7 care. Cillian is living with brain damage, is peg fed and has epilepsy dystonia and sleep apnea. Cillian’s condition is life limiting which is tough for the family. Liz’s nominations say she always makes the most of every day and is an amazing woman.
Our Kildare Careplus Carer of the Year is Emer Moore. Emer looks after her three children who are 16, 10 & 5. Her 16 year old son has cerebal palsy and also suffers with epilepsy. Her 10 year daughter and 5 year old son have juvenile arthritis. Claire’s nominations say she never complains and cares for her 3 children lovingly.
Our Kilkenny Careplus Carer of the Year is Lisa O’ Shea. Lisa looks after her daughter Jodie who is 13. As a result of complications at birth, Jodie is living with severe developmental delay. Lisa is an inspiration to everyone in how she has coped. She is such an amazing person and deserves recognition for the care she provides to Jodie.
Our Laois Careplus Carer of the Year is Pauline Gill. Pauline cares for her foster daughter, Lorna, with a disability. Pauline is a very warm person & always sees the ability and not the disability & deserves to recognised for her dedication & care that she provides to her daughter.
Our Leitrim Careplus Carer of the Year is Mary Doherty. Mary looks after her daughter Niamh who is living with Down Syndrome and has recently been diagnosed with Leukaemia. Mary has had to give up employment & her whole time now revolves around caring, worrying and protecting Niamh. Mary’s nominators are humbled by her and really appreciate what she does.
Our Limerick Careplus Carer of the Year is Jessica Bennett. Jessica cares for her 3 children who all have diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD & anxiety disorders. Last year the stress took its toll & Jessica was hospitalised twice with suspected strokes. However, this does not stop Jessica from continuing to provide the best care a mother and carer could give.
Our Longford Careplus Carer of the Year is Michael Reilly. Michael provides full-time, 24/7 care for his wife Mary who lives with MS. Michael carries out all the tasks required to keep Mary comfortable at home including housework, preparing meals and feeding. His nominators say he is a very kind and caring person.
Our Louth Careplus Carer of the Year is Dianne Arthur. Dianne looks after her daughter Kim & has been caring since 2013. Kim has a rare genetic condition. She could dislocate her joints up to 20 times a day & cannot be left alone. Dianne takes her daughter to London every 12 weeks for treatment. She never complains & has put her life on hold to care for her daughter.
Our Mayo Careplus Carer of the Year is Marie Gill O’Neill. Marie looks after her son Lucas who lives with Down Syndrome. Lucas requires round the clock care. Marie’s love, devotion and dedication to Lucas is exemplary and inspirational. She is truly an amazing woman.
Our Meath Careplus Carer of the Year is Albert Smith. Albert has cared for his wife Olive for a number of years. He was diagnosed with cancer himself but still continues to care lovingly for his wife. He is the definition of a true gentleman, always upbeat.
Our Monaghan Careplus Carer of the Year is Gerard McKenna. Gerard cares for his mother Rose, who continues to live at home with Gerard’s support. Gerard is also running the family farm while taking care of his mother.
Our Offaly Careplus Carer of the Year is Nancy Nestor. Nancy is caring for her husband Michael for over 20 years. Nancy has carried out her caring role in a low key way for many years and has never sought any recognition for the care that she provides.
Our Roscommon Careplus Carer of the Year is Mary Moore. Mary looks after her daughter 24/7 with very little help from morning until night. Mary has looked after her daughter for the past 42 years. She has been nominated by her husband William who says she is an “amazing woman.”
Our Sligo Careplus Carer of the Year is Mary Rooney. Mary cares for her son Paul who has Down Syndrome as well as a severe intellectual disability. Mary also cares for her 96 year mother who has dementia. Mary is always cheerful, kind & sympathetic to everyone despite the enormous burden of her caring duties.
Our Tipperary Careplus Carer of the Year is Rose Fitzgerald. Rose cares for her husband who is living with throat cancer. Rose has given up employment to care for her husband & also looks after their twin boys aged 12.
Our Waterford Careplus Carer of the Year is Jimmy O’Keeffe. Jimmy has been providing care to his friend Susan for the past 4 years. Susan is a double amputee and also has Spina Bifida. Jimmy ensures that Susan gets to all her health appointments and is always there to provide care to Susan.
Our Westmeath Careplus Carer of the Year is Geraldine Hayes. Geraldine cares for her daughter Chloe Marie who is 8 years old and has juvenile Huntington’s Disease. Chloe requires 24 hour care and Geraldine’s nominations say she is one in a million, a rare pearl and the most kind hearted loving mum.
Our Wexford Careplus Carer of the Year is Fiona Kelly Campbell. Fiona cares for her three children – Jay, Sam and Daniel – 2 of whom were born prematurely. her youngest son has special needs. Her oldest daughter was also born with a chronic illness. All three require frequent visits to hospital. Fiona was very close to her dad who sadly passed away last year. She is now looking after her mum as well. lost her Dad in the past year whom she was very close to and is now also looking after her Mum.
Family Carers Ireland is very concerned about today’s media reports [16/11/17] on a new Government-backed home care scheme and flatly reject Governments initial plans for same.
“A new Statutory Home Care Scheme cannot be an excuse for charging for the existing, poor quality services on offer. Families could not, and would not, consider paying for such inadequate service provision. Family Carers Ireland has lobbied for many years for a statutory entitlement to home care, but what this cannot mean is a right for Government to simply charge for the current system of home care which is inequitable, inconsistent, fragmented and insufficient” said Catherine Cox, Head of Communications and Carer Engagement, Family Carers Ireland. “We are happy to explore the different funding options for homecare, including co-payment, but only after it has been agreed what a new home care system will look like and the range of supports and services that it would and should include” says Ms. Cox.
There were 2,600 responses to Government’s recent public consultation on the creation of a statutory Home Care Scheme.
Family Carers Ireland made a submission. Key points from this submission include:
- Family Carers Ireland is very concerned that the consultation invites comments on only one funding option, co-payment. It does not present the range of alternative models available, such as taxation, social insurance and private insurance. They also emphasise inadequate service provision and the lack of quality home care services across the country as a key issue which must be addressed and properly regulated.
- The consultation has an inappropriately narrow definition of homecare. It places an emphasis on care for older people instead of broadening this out to all people requiring care; older people, adults and children.
- The consultation also separates critical primary care functions such as physiotherapy and respite into packages of home support. This is too narrow and a suite of core services must be considered, including respite provision, housing adaptation grants, equipment required for safe care in the home, rather than simply extending existing home help and home care package hours.
The public consultation was announced as “a formal home care scheme for older people”. This is too limiting. What about people with disabilities and life-limiting conditions who also require long-term care from a statutory scheme? Any statutory Home Care Scheme must be available to all potential users of home care, and not limited to older people.
Family Carers Ireland launched its ‘Share the Care’ campaign last year and is very concerned that there is a complete absence of any reference in the consultation to a statutory definition of where the ultimate responsibility for care should lie. Family Carers Ireland supports a system which locates primary responsibility with the family, with a secondary duty on the state to support care in specific ways and to act as a last resort where the family is unwilling, or unable, to provide the required care.
Another question raised today is whether carers in receipt of Carers Allowance will be penalised when the new scheme is implemented. This cannot happen under any circumstances. The new scheme should be implemented to support family carers, not penalise them.
The Health Research Board has mentioned Scotland as a model of best practice. Family Carers Ireland would say there are other countries which could be looked at, such as Australia. Ireland does not have to copy anyone but rather take the best practices from different countries and put these into a new framework that would work best for Ireland.
While Family Carers Ireland welcomes the need for a statutory requirement, we do not want this to damage, rather than enhance, the situation for those who provide care in the home. Today’s reports suggests looking at the ‘take’ before the ‘give’. We want to bring about a system that helps ease the current crisis, rather than exacerbate it” said Catherine Cox.
What are the differences between a power of attorney and enduring power of attorney?
Both a power of attorney and an enduring power of attorney transfer significant power and responsibility to another person (attorney) by the person transferring the power (donor).
A power of attorney is a document which transfers power and responsibility during the donor’s lifetime and whilst they have capacity. The enduring power of attorney, drafted when the donor has capacity, only transfers the power when the donor becomes incapacitated. On the death of the donor, this power ceases to have effect.
An enduring power of attorney is a very useful tool to retain some control over your personal affairs if you become mentally incapacitated, either through an acquired brain injury, dementia etc. You can identify the people you want to support you and you can control some of your affairs. You can also make recommendations for aspects of your care. It is also a way to avoid Wardship proceedings issuing against you.
There are rules about how you prepare and write an Enduring Power of Attorney. The rules are set out in the Power of Attorney Act 1996. You must meet with both your solicitor and doctor to ensure that you understand what you are writing and that you are not under any pressure or influence to prepare one.
An Enduring Power of Attorney will only become active if the High Court permits it, on foot of the lodging of a medical certificate. This process is known as registration. The donor can oppose the application. The donor can also revoke the Enduring Power of Attorney at any time before registration
Email: email@example.com or phone 086-7707231.
- A serious lack of respite care, vital to give family carers a much-needed break to continue their caring work. Due to funding cuts, staff shortages and bed closures because of HIQA inspections, respite has become almost non-existent – a serious issue for family carers.
- Family carers should be considered as partners in care planning by health and social service providers. This relates to discharge planning from hospital to homecare and is simply not happening. The lived experience of family carers in this regard is very poor, with often no documented care plans or supports in place to help family carers provide care in a safe and dignified manner.
- Problems with the Housing Adaptation Grant scheme persist around the country – despite an older population increase of 36 per cent since 2006. Eligibility for the scheme has been tightened to the point where those in genuine need are not eligible. While funding is slowly being restored and currently stands at €56m, it is still significantly below the funding level paid in 2010 of €95m. Long waiting lists are seen in many Local Authorities and timeliness is a huge issue, as needs may significantly deteriorate while an applicant is waiting.
- On a more positive note, Government have expressed a willingness and ambition to tackle the issue of financing home and community care. This is evidenced by the terms of reference of the Committee on the Future of Healthcare and by the announcement of a public consultation to establish a new statutory homecare scheme.
- Equally positive has been the improving level of engagement from Government departments with family carers over the lifetime of the Strategy.
Family Carers Ireland welcomes launch of consultation on a new home care scheme, however says scheme must meet a broad spectrum of needs
Family Carers Ireland welcomes Minister for Health, Simon Harris, and Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Jim Daly’s opening of a public consultation on home care services. However, the organisation is urging an extension of the time period and an assurance that the scope of the legislation will be broader than the terms of the consultation.
This consultation was supposed to have begun at the end of May. Since most carer groups throughout the country do not meet in July and August they will not be able to participate in the consultation process unless the closing date is extended until the end of September.
Members of the public can participate in the consultation process until 31st August 2017 through http://health.gov.ie/blog/noticeboard/consultation-on-home-care-services/
Speaking on today’s announcement, Catherine Cox, Family Carers Ireland said,
“A statutory entitlement to homecare has been one of the major policy asks of Family Carers Ireland for many years. While we welcome the consultation process as a signal of intent we are disappointed that the focus of the initial phase of the consultation seems to be on how best to reconfigure and regulate the existing services of home help and home care packages. While these are important questions, should the consultation remain this narrow it will exclude a variety of other vital supports such as respite care, aids and appliances, housing adaptation grants and transport. We are also concerned that the consultation appears to lean heavily towards older people. It is essential that the needs of those under the age of 65 with disabilities and life limiting conditions are also addressed.
The legislation it informs must provide for a comprehensive, integrated scheme – if it is not properly planned and adequately funded to meet the total care needs of every individual, including access to regular respite, regardless of age, geography or economic circumstances, we see a real danger that the overall result of this process would be increased charges with no discernible improvement to services.”
In recent years access to respite has become almost non-existent. Funding cuts, bed cuts as a result of HIQA inspections, staff shortages and the transfer of respite beds to long stay beds has greatly reduced respite availability and denied carers this vital support. Despite their importance, supports such as respite care and specialist therapies are only mentioned in the document in the context of seeking feedback on how they could work alongside home care services which are defined in terms of home help and home care packages alone. If the consultation is indeed this narrow in focus, it is hard to see how it leaves enough room for the much-needed re-imagining and significant altering of how care is provided in the home. Family carers look to Minister Daly to confirm that there is room in the consultation for these vital supports to be incorporated into any future statutory scheme.
Today, one in twenty people in Ireland is a family carer, providing some €10 billon in unpaid care each year. By 2030, demographic changes will require one in five to take on a caring role. It is of paramount importance that where a person is supported to remain at home with the help of a family carer then the carer’s own needs must also be assessed and addressed through a carers needs assessment, with resources to support carers to care safely and with dignity at home.
“Regardless of the outcome of this important consultation, existing home care services remain chronically underfunded. A commitment to significantly increase funding towards home care and respite in Budget 2018 would send the strongest message possible that this government are firmly committed to delivering a fully funded, consistent and equitable system of homecare” concludes 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
For more information or interview, please contact:
Mary Tallent Phelan, 085 8018946 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Catherine Cox, Head of Communications and Carer Engagement, Family Carers Ireland, 086 852 1611 / email@example.com
Family Carers Ireland’s 2017 Regional Carers’ Forums will take place over the coming fortnight. These Forums offer the opportunity for staff around the country to engage with and listen to carers, and to address both regional and national issues of importance to them. Each forum will feature a discussion of the Strategic Plan for the organisation, and include a breakout session where family carers can have their say and offer feedback.
To reserve your place, please contact the contact person at your local centre, available here: http://familycarers.ie/find-us/
Tues. 9th May
Venue: Prince of Wales Hotel, Athlone
Time: 10.30am – 1pm, lunch at 1
Counties: Galway, Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath, Laois, Offaly
Wed. 10th May
Venue: Green Isle Hotel, Dublin
Time: 10.30am – 1pm, lunch at 1
Counties: Dublin, Wicklow, Kildare, Meath, Louth, Cavan, Monaghan
Thurs. 11th May
Venue: Kilkenny Hotel, Kilkenny
Time: 10.30am – 1pm, lunch at 1
Counties: Kilkenny, Carlow, Waterford, Wexford, Tipperary
Tues. 16th May
Venue: Sligo Park Hotel, Sligo
Time: 10.30am – 1pm, lunch at 1
Counties: Sligo, Donegal, Mayo, Leitrim
Wed. 17th May
Venue: Pery Hotel, Limerick
Time: 10.30am – 1pm, lunch at 1
Counties: Limerick, Clare, Kerry, Cork, North Tipp
Family Carers Ireland with CarePlus Pharmacy has today launched their CarePlus Carer of the Year and Young Carers of the Year Awards. The event took place in Dublin’s Westin Hotel and a number of past nominees including young family carers were in attendance.
The awards, sponsored by CarePlus Pharmacy, recognise the dedication of Ireland’s invisible workforce. While it was previously thought that family carers save the state €4billion per year, new figures indicate the saving to be far greater.
It is now estimated they are propping up the Irish healthcare system by an extra €6 billion per year in avoided health and social care costs. This means family carers provide an annual saving of €10 billion.*
Speaking at the launch, Catherine Cox, Head of Communications with Family Carers Ireland says, “With an ever increasing number of people providing unpaid care in the home to loved ones with demanding medical care needs, our awards are more significant than ever.”
The majority of family carers individually provide 45 hours and over of unpaid care to a loved one each week. The impact financially, socially or in terms of their own physical and mental health can be immense.
“Family carers help towards alleviating the ongoing problems within our health care system such as bed shortages, over-crowding and long waiting lists. The dedication and sacrifices made to achieve this are often overlooked and not fully understood. The awards offer an opportunity for family carers to be acknowledged in their own right.” continues Ms Cox.
Once again, the role of young carers, those under the age of 18, will be acknowledged in its own right with a separate awards category. The 2016 awards saw an unprecedented number of nominations for young carers.
At present, it is difficult to calculate the prevalence of young carers but it is anticipated that there are 56,118 young people in the 10-17 year age group providing regular unpaid care.** The different caring situations and levels of responsibility taken on by young carers also mean they are not readily identified within the role.
Commenting on their sponsorship of the awards, CEO of CarePlus, John Carroll says “As a community pharmacist, I have met so many family carers during my career and have always admired their determination and dedication to those they care for. CarePlus is delighted to partner with Family Carers Ireland, a vital life line for the family carer community.”
This year, the awards form part of Family Carers Ireland national year long ‘Share the Care’ Campaign. It is hoped the awards will also provide an opportunity for people to self-identify as carers and seek support.
The CarePlus Carer of the Year Awards will be presented in Dublin in November.
Family Carers Ireland is a merged organisation of ‘The Carers Association’ and ‘Caring for Carers’, who provide a range of supports and services for family carers and advocate fairness for carers.
For more information, images or to speak with a family carer about their caring experiences, please contact:
Catherine Cox, Head of Communications, Family Carers Ireland, 086 852 1611 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Bridget O’Dea, Purcell Masterson, 0831717950 / email@example.com
(Photography by Mark Stedman, 086 367 9394)
NOTES TO EDITOR:
* CSO’s Irish Health Survey 2015 suggests 10 percent of the population aged over 16 years are carers providing an average of 45 hours of care each week. If extrapolated out to the national population this would mean Ireland has close to 355,000 carers who conservatively save the State some €10 billion each year, based on a replacement cost of €12 p/h. If an hourly rate of €18 p/h was applied (which is the rate charged by FCI) this would equate to a replacement cost of €15 billion. Family carers who provide an average of 16 million hours of unpaid care each week save the State some €10 billion each year in avoided health and social care costs.
** The Health Behaviour in School-aged Children’ (HBSC) study 2014, published 2016 www.nuigalway.ie/hbsc. Commissioned by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, 2016.
About CarePlus Pharmacy:
The CarePlus brand is owned by Dublin-based entrepreneur John Carroll, who is also a pharmacist, and operates the Axium buying group supplying ethical and over-the-counter medicines to over 275 pharmacies in Ireland. CarePlus Pharmacy is a network of 35 franchised pharmacies, owned and managed by community pharmacists, with the aim of providing a superior pharmacy experience in a friendly local environment. The first CarePlus Pharmacy opened in February 2015 and the group continues to grow and is opening in key towns around Ireland. For further information on CarePlus Pharmacy, visit www.careplus.ie.
A discussion document relating to the recently-announced public consultation on a statutory home care scheme has been produced by relevant NGOs including Family Carers Ireland. The document outlines areas which these NGOs believe any statutory home care scheme must address. The document can be read here.