National Carers Week is running from the 11th to 17th June this year. As always, Family Carers Ireland will be heavily involved in planning activities and events for carers around the country. These will be added in the coming weeks to the ‘Events’ section of the website http://www.carersweek.ie/ You can also check with your local FCI centre to see what events are on in your area.
Archives for May 2018
From Tuesday to Thursday May 15th – 17th, a group of 21 including FCI team members and Carers from around the country are the first group in Ireland to train as Facilitators of the Caring with Care program, delivered by The Meriden Family Programme. Family Carers Ireland has a valuable resource to deliver training to Carers caring for people with mental health issues. A huge thank you to all for taking part and to Catriona Duffy for all the work behind the scenes.
The brainchild of FCI’s Working Group for Family Carers of People with Mental Health Difficulties, chaired by Fiona Gallagher and supported by Clare Duffy, the programme brought together teams of staff and carers to develop their skills in training and education in mental health. After completing the 3-day training, it is expected that participants will deliver locally tailored carer support and education packages that specifically meet the needs of their local carer communities.
The combination of experienced carers and FCI staff members is the key component. Rolling out the training is the next step. Modules included in the training were:
- The Experience of Mental Health Problems In a Family
- Experience of caring for someone with Mental health Issues
- Education and Information Sharing
- Communication in Families- practical strategies
- Problem solving
- Dealing with Crisis and Staying well
- Recovery and Hope
- Taking Care of yourself
FCI and the HSE hosted a workshop for family carers on the Assisted Decision-making (Capacity) Act 2015 on Monday April 23rd in Dublin. The Director of the Decision Support Service Áine Flynn and Patricia Rickard-Clarke, a legal expert on the Act, were in attendance at the event along with family carers from across the country. It was a very informative workshop with many questions and concerns raised by carers on this important legislation. The HSE and the panel of speakers have agreed to run more of these events in other parts of the country subject to demand and availability. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A question often asked by carers is whether any grant exists to help with the upgrade of their homes and up to now little has been available. The good news is that since January 2018 Minister Denis Naughten made households where a child is in receipt of Domiciliary Care Allowance eligible for the Better Energy Warmer Home Scheme. The Better Energy Warmer Home Scheme is incredibly generous, giving households 100% of the costs of upgrades to their homes, and families don’t have to find the money in advance as it is paid directly to the builder by the Department.
We are excited to launch our CareGuide tool for carers. FCI recently developed an online informational tool to help carers, the CareGuide. It is simple to use and the completed guide, which is based on the details entered by the carer, provides a source of information on rights and entitlements, health and wellbeing, finances and more tailored to their specific caring situation. This was created using funding from the last Pobal Dormant Accounts Funding scheme. We hope the tool will be widely shared and that it will be helpful to those new to the caring role and to experienced carers. Carers can fill it out online in a couple of minutes. At the end, an individualised CareGuide can be generated, and is emailed to the carer so they can retrieve the info at any time. The tool is live on our home page, accessible through the ‘Create CareGuide’ button in the top right of the screen.
Family Carers Ireland will host a one-day conference on the theme of ‘Life After Care’ on Monday, June 18th in the Hilton Hotel, Inchicore Road, Kilmainham Dublin 8 (tea/coffee from 9.45). The conference is funded through the Pobal Dormant Accounts scheme, and is part of a suite of initiatives FCI is running across the country in 2018 on the themes of post-caregiving or transitions from care.
We are delighted to have as our keynote speaker Prof. Mary Larkin of the Open University on the UK, who has pioneered work in the under-researched area of family carers’ experiences of the transition from their caring role. Professor Larkin has led funded projects and taken a consulting role in public initiatives dedicated to understanding and supporting the role of carers in society. She has been a member of the Social Care Institute for Excellence (Co-production network), the Third Sector Research Centre, the cross-Government Independent Advisory Group on Carers (whose Research and Evidence Task and Finish Group she chaired), Carers Trust ‘Care Act 2014 for Carers One Year On’ Commission, the Department of Health’s National Carers Strategy Reference Group, NHS England Commitment to Carers Oversight Group and the NICE Guideline Committee for Provision of support for adult carers. She is also Reviews Editor for the International Journal of Care and Caring.
Also among speakers on the day will be Dr John Hillery, President of the College of Psychiatrists in Ireland and a strong advocate for better governmental supports for carers, and Dr Carol Kelleher of University College Cork, who last year with her colleague Dr Jacqui O’Riordan published the study ‘Post-Caregiving: Family Carers’ Experiences of Cessation of the Caring Role’.
FCI’s Micheal O’Reilly will provide an overview of the ‘Plan C’ project, the flagship programme in our Dormant Accounts-funded activities in 2018, and an update on other activities and the themes related to life after care emerging from discussions with carers nationwide. Family carers will also speak about their experience of the transition from the caring role.
Attendance is free and all are welcome. If you are interested in attending, RSVP to Catriona Duffy at email@example.com and title the email ‘Conference June 18th’
To coincide with the launch of Carer of the Year 2018, CarePlus Pharmacies around the country held coffee mornings to welcome carers and to raise awareness in the wider community of the role of carers which the awards seek to recognise and celebrate.
Leinster Young Carer of the Year 2017 Alannah Donnelly subsequently appeared RTE Today with Daithi and Maura on Wednesday 23rd May, along with FCI’s Carers Support and Advocacy Manager Marian Mahon. Alannah spoke about how caring for her younger brother has influenced her outlook and her preferred career choice of medicine, and Marian laid out for the hosts the contribution which carers make to Irish society, and how they serve as the backbone of health provision in the country. The interview can be seen on the RTE Player (with Alannah’s interview starting at 1.11.45): https://www.rte.ie/player/ie/show/today-with-maura-and-daithi-30001768/10883067/?ap=1
Launch of CarePlus Carer of the Year Awards 2018
April 25th saw the launch of the CarePlus ‘Carer of the Year’ awards 2018. The launch took place at The Westin Hotel in Dublin and was hosted by broadcasters and Family Carers Ireland patrons Mary Kennedy and Marty Whelan. They were joined by 2017 Carer of the Year Paula Robinson of Cootehill, Co. Cavan, and by 3 of the regional Young Carers of the Year, Jack Cooney from Tipperary, Alannah Donnelly from Offaly and Adam Hyland from Clondalkin.
Speaking at the launch, Catherine Cox, Head of Communications and Carer Engagement with Family Carers Ireland said, “Family Carers across Ireland make extraordinary sacrifices and work very hard, sometimes 24 hours a day, to provide care for their loved ones, safely, in their own homes. With limited access to services and particularly respite, Carers are over stretched and receive little acknowledgement for their unpaid work which saves the State €10bn each year. Family Carers Ireland is delighted to celebrate and recognise the enormous contribution that Family Carers make through the CarePlus Carers of the Year Awards and would encourage people to nominate a deserving Carer or Young Carer for one of these awards.”
Niamh Lynch, Commercial Director of CarePlus Pharmacy said “CarePlus Pharmacy is honoured to sponsor the Family Carer of the Year awards, which recognises the tireless efforts of thousands of people across the country. Carers are the heart of every community and meet our pharmacy owners and staff every day. We look forward to working closely with Family Carers Ireland and supporting the awards throughout our 50 community pharmacies nationwide”.
This year, the CarePlus Carer of the Year Awards form part of Family Carers Ireland national ‘Carers in Crisis’ campaign and will acknowledge the contribution of Family Carers throughout Ireland. The awards will highlight the sacrifices Family Carers make and the services they provide to the State.
Nomination forms are available online at www.familycarers.ie, Family Carers Ireland’s nationwide resource centres, CarePlus Pharmacies or via the Freephone Careline 1800 24 07 24.
The CarePlus Carer of the Year Awards will be presented in Dublin in November.