This version of the National Carers Strategy Scorecard document was updated in January 2018. A number of errors were brought to our attention relating to our reporting on the Department of Education’s performance in the first edition of this the fourth scorecard. We had incorrectly reported that the Department of Education failed to report under actions 2.2.1, 2.2.2 and 3.1.3. The Department had in fact taken meaningful actions in response to suggestions made in previous Scorecards and had reported on the same. We have corrected these errors and acknowledged those actions in this new updated Scorecard.
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
A group of Ireland’s leading not for profit organisations and campaigners today welcomed the launch by Minister for Health Simon Harris TD and Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly TD of a consultation process on a new statutory homecare scheme and encouraged members of the public to get involved.
A spokesperson for the group said, “This consultation process is a vital opportunity to develop a homecare scheme that meets the preferences of people to remain living in their own homes and that is equitable, person-centred and well-resourced. It is also an opportunity for people who receive care, as well as those who deliver care, to have their voices heard”.
Members of the public can participate in the consultation process until 31st August 2017 [now extended to 2nd October] through http://health.gov.ie/blog/noticeboard/consultation-on-home-care-services/
The group is also calling on Minister Daly to provide further details on how the consultation process will operate and to set out a clear timeline for the introduction of a new homecare scheme.
In particular, the group has called for clarity on how people with disabilities, dementia, life-limiting illnesses, professional carers, migrant workers and family carers will be facilitated to participate in the process. While these groups can be hard to reach, their views and insights are crucial to shape a robust homecare scheme.
“It is also essential that this consultation process does not obscure the urgent need for additional funding for homecare. Thousands of people across Ireland are currently on long waiting lists for homecare that will support them to live and die well in the community, stay out of hospital and long-term residential care, and remain in their own homes with their families if that is their wish. As of July 2016, there were 2,256 people waiting for Home Care Packages and 2,097 people waiting for Home Help”, their spokesperson said.
Homecare is also vital in supporting Ireland’s 360,000 family carers, who provide the vast majority of care for people at home. The system relies heavily on these carers who provide in the region of €10bn worth of care every year and who need our support.
Ireland’s ageing population requires a significant annual increase in funding for homecare. This group is therefore calling on the Government to increase investment in homecare in Budget 2018 so that people can remain living well in their own homes for as long as possible.
This call is supported by the following organisations:
- Acquired Brain Injury Ireland
- Active Ageing Partnership
- Active Retirement Ireland
- Age Action
- Age & Opportunity
- The Alzheimer Society of Ireland
- Care Alliance Ireland
- Disability Federation of Ireland
- Family Carers Ireland
- Irish Association of Social Workers
- Irish Heart Foundation
- Irish Hospice Foundation
- Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association
- Migrants Right Centre of Ireland
- MS Ireland
- Neurological Alliance of Ireland
- Sage – Support & Advocacy Service
- Third Age
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.
Family Carers Ireland Launch ‘Share the Care’ Campaign – Highlighting Vital Role Carers Play in Society
Monday 27th February: Family Carers Ireland (FCI) today launched its year-long campaign, ‘Share the Care’. The campaign aims to make 2017 the Year of the Carer, and will highlight the vital role the 200,000+ family carers in Ireland play in our society. ‘Share the Care’ will be supported by a range of nationwide awareness building activities, events, research projects, and complemented with political engagement at all levels. The campaign will strive to give all carers a voice so that the issues facing them are heard.
One of the fundamental messages of the ‘Share the Care’ campaign is that nobody should care alone. Caring should be a shared responsibility between a number of partners and parties including the person requiring care, the family carer, the wider family, the state and other relevant agencies such as service providers. The present reality is that family carers prop up the health system through their dedication and are often expected to fill the gaps in resources in the system regardless of the cost to them – financially, socially, or in terms of their physical and mental health and well-being. “Share the Care” also calls on family carers to self-identify as carers and seek support from their wider family, the state and society as some carers can find it difficult to reach out and ask for help.
Commenting on today’s launch, Catherine Cox, Head of Communications at Family Carers Ireland, said, “Our Share the Care campaign that we launched today, will run throughout 2017 and will create awareness of the work undertaken by family carers across the country. We also want to provide carers with a platform where they can communicate the issues that are facing them, and where they can get help and support.”
Ms Cox continued, “For too long the work undertaken by family carers has not been recognised, and they have become the forgotten workforce. However, their contribution to our society is vital, and they are presently filling a void in what is a shortage of necessary services. The sole responsibility of caring for a loved one or relation, cannot always fall on one person, more needs to be done to support carers and those they are caring for. Our message with this campaign is strong and will be loud – ‘Share the Care’, once and for all.”
Brendan O’Connor, Journalist and TV Presenter, has spoken openly many times about the challenges facing carers in accessing supports and services, in particular for children with disabilities. Brendan was on hand to launch the campaign today and he commented, “I’m delighted to be involved in Family Carers Ireland ‘Share the Care’ campaign. The issues the organisation are highlighting are ones which I feel very strongly about, and anything which can help to promote the difficulties facing carers and the lack of services available to them has my full backing. People with disabilities are not adequately taken care of in this country, in fact they are neglected, and it’s time that we woke up to this reality and started to do something about it.
Throughout the course of 2017, Family Carers Ireland will aim to tell the stories of all carers in society, across all age groups and demographics and in all corners of the country. The campaign will also focus on various issues of importance to carers, some of these topics will include, carers mental health and well-being, knowing your rights, keeping active, healthy eating and many more. Alongside all of this awareness building, will include advocacy and engagement with political parties at every level. One of the key issues Family Carers Ireland has been advocating for and will continue to bring to the fore, particularly given Minister Mc Entee’s recent commitment, will be for a statutory entitlement to homecare services which is demand led and available to all ages.
Further information on the ‘Share the Care’ campaign and associated activities and events will be posted on the website throughout the year.
A number of the measures passed today as part of Budget 2017 were welcomed by Family Carers Ireland; however, the organisation believes much more needs to be done to support and safeguard the estimated 200,000 family carers across the country.
In particular, Family Carers Ireland believes funding for the publication and implementation of phase two of the National Carers’ Strategy 2017 – 2021 should be made available as a priority. Furthermore, it is imperative that Government take steps towards introducing a statutory entitlement to home care services which will ensure demand-led supports based on assessed needs as opposed to the existing resource-led and fragmented supports available to family carers.
Spokesperson, Catherine Cox said: “While Family Carers Ireland welcomes the announcement of an additional half a billion in the health budget, there is no indication that this will go towards home care services. There is a danger it will be swallowed up by an increased wage bill or pulled into funding residential care; under the Fair Deal scheme there is a statutory entitlement to nursing home care, while no such entitlement exist to home care.”
HSE spend on home care in 2015 (€320m) was less than that spent in 2008 (€331m) despite a 25% increase in the population aged over 65 years.. “Family Carers Ireland called for Budget 2017 to increase funding for home care services to at least €414m to meet this 25% increase and ensure no person assessed as needing home support is forced onto a waiting list. We are bitterly disappointed to note that no such increase has been announced in today’s budget” stated Catherine Cox.
The increase in Carer’s Allowance of €5 per week, payable from March, while welcome, does not go far enough in recognising the unique status of family carers within the Social Protection budget, particularly in light of the fact that they are the only social welfare recipients that have to work in excess of 35 hours per week for their means-tested payment. While this increase goes some way towards recognising the contribution of family carers, reaction will be tempered by the fact this rise represents an increase of 2.5% where family carers had called for an increase in line with the projected public sector pay rises of 6.5%.
Though not specifically aimed at family carers, the modest increase of €100 per annum to the Home Carer’s Tax Credit is welcomed. This increase will benefit families who are balancing work and care, as well as many carers who fall outside the means test for Carer’s Allowance.
Also welcomed are the following changes:
• Extension of medical card to all children in receipt of Domiciliary Care Allowance
• Increase in funding for National Treatment Purchase Fund of € 15 million to address waiting lists
• Christmas bonus of 85% to all social welfare recipients
• Reduction in €25 cap on prescription charges to those over 70 to € 20 from March
• Additional 900 Resource teachers
• Increase in funding to allow children with disabilities to access free preschool
• Payment of Carers Allowance extended to 12 weeks following admission to a nursing home, in line with payment after death of the caree.
In its pre-budget submission, titled, ‘Achieving Fairness for Family Carers’, Family Carers Ireland outlined 5 key areas which needed to be addressed for Carers:
1. Publish Phase Two of the National Carers’ Strategy with ring-fenced funding for its implementation
2. Ensure family carers are not financially burdened as a result of their caring role
3. Create a more ‘carer-friendly’ health service
4. Recognise the home as a centre of care
5. Invest in the futures of young carers
While the measures revealed today as part of Budget 2017 are welcomed and will go some way to helping Carers, much more needs to be done. Family carers are Ireland’s unseen workforce, and are contributing 6.2 million unpaid hours of care each week, which provides the State with a saving of €4 billion each year. Families should not be burdened as a result of their caring role and benefits such as the reinstatement of the Household Benefits Package, including the telephone allowance are an absolute necessity yet we have not seen these restored in today’s budget.
For further information, please contact:
Catherine Cox, Head of Communication, Family Carers Ireland on 086 852 1611
Carol Donaghy, Purcell Masterson, 085 8018946
Note to editor: Prior to Budget 2017 the basic Carers Allowance payment was €204 per week (maximum weekly rate). The Budget 2017 increase of €5 per week represents an increase of 2.45% which is well short of projected pay rises in the public sector of 6.5%.
Family Carers Ireland presented their Pre-Budget 2017 Submission, titled ‘Achieving Fairness for Family Carers’ to Government this morning at 10.30 am in Buswell’s Hotel, Dublin 2.
Family Carers Ireland received a written commitment from each political party during Election 2016, that if elected, they would publish a refreshed National Carers’ Strategy, backed by dedicated funding to support its implementation. Today Family Carers Ireland are urging Government to stand by those promises to publishing a renewed National Carers’ Strategy setting out a clear action plan for 2017-2021, backed with ring-fenced funding and to prioritise key issues facing Ireland’s 200,000 family carers in Budget 2017.
Family carers are Ireland’s unseen workforce, contributing 6.2 million hours of unpaid care each week; saving the State €4 billion each year. Respite care is universally regarded as one of the key support interventions to support the health and wellbeing of carers and is critical to the sustainability of caregiving efforts. Despite its importance, funding cuts, staff shortages and bed closures as a result of inspections have greatly reduced respite availability and denied many carers this vital support. Respite must be demand rather than resource led.
Today’s presentation heard from family carer Mary McDonnell from Cork. Mary (78) has provided full-time care for her daughter Sinead for over 50 years. Sinead is a person with serious physical disabilities – she has profound Cerebral Palsy (diagnosed at just 10 months), has Scoliosis and is a wheel-chair user. Sinead’s care is now the definition of ‘round-the-clock’. Increased medication has meant a special diet and constant feeding supervision. She is in constant pain. Mary, as an older carer, finds her caring role challenging and bureaucracy very tough trying to access vital supports and services in particular respite.
The submission titled ‘Achieving Fairness for Family Carers’ calls on Government to ensure that family carers are not financially burdened as a result of caring for their loved ones and that the resources, services and supports necessary are in place for them to care with confidence and safety in the home. It also asks that the estimated 56,118* young carers (under 18) are recognised as a vulnerable group with a need for cross-departmental support.
Family Carers Ireland presented a number of recommendations to Government that will make the best use of allocated budgets for family carers. The Government will be asked to make five key commitments for family carers in Budget 2017:
- Publish, fund and implement Phase Two of the National Carers’ Strategy.
- Ensure family carers are not financially burdened as a result of their caring role. Family carers have been adversely affected by cuts in health and social care spending during recent years of austerity. Family Carers are asking Government to increase carers’ Carers Allowance, Carers Benefit and Disability Allowance and reduce prescription charges.
- Create a more ‘carer friendly’ health service, eliminating red tape and delays and introduce flexible and appropriate respite options with equality of access.
- Recognise the home as a centre of care and the role of family carers as ‘care partners’ who provide over 6 million hours of unpaid care each week.
- Invest in the future of young carers, many of whom miss out on education and remain hidden from services due to fear, family loyalty, stigma, and not knowing where to get help.
Despite the enormity of their contribution, family carers are struggling. Each year vital respite, home, day and residential care services are reduced as a result of a €2.7 billion cut in health and social care spending since 2009. While efforts have been made to reverse some of these cuts imposed during the economic crisis, with Ireland’s economy now in recovery Family Carers Ireland are calling on the Government to prioritise family carers.
Family Carers Ireland will hold Government to account in Budget 2017 and expect that the promises made in the run up to Election 2016 and committed to in the Programme for Government will be delivered.
Family Carers Ireland is the new, merged organisation of The Carers Association with Caring for Carers launched in January.
A written commitment was given to Family Carers Ireland that if elected they would publish a refreshed National Carers’ Strategy by Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, Labour, Sinn Fein, People Before Profit Alliance and the Social Democrats.
* Report commissioned by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and published in 2016
**The Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study 2014, www.nuigalway.ie/hbsc.
Empowering people with incontinence and their carers to live independent and dignified lives at home and in their communities
Study conducted in six European regions contributes to better understanding of how to improve the care for people with incontinence in their daily lives at home and in the community.
Patient involvement, knowledge and provisions based on patient profiles were found to be key in enabling people with incontinence and their carers to live independent and dignified lives.
Berlin, 19 April 2016 – The results of a major pan-European study which gives insight into the quality of continence care services and provisions was launched today at the 6th Global Forum on Incontinence: “Sustainable health and social care: The role of Continence Care in enabling Independent and Dignified living”.
The study was conducted by AGE Platform Europe, a European network representing over 40 million older people in Europe, and SCA. Entitled Management for Containment – A review of current continence care provisions, the study was conducted amongst people with incontinence and informal carers in six regions in Germany, Poland, England and Spain. It aimed to provide an understanding of the existing knowledge patients and carers had about the containment products that are available, and to what extent they were involved in the decision about which product type to use.
The main findings of the study were:
- 1 in 4 said the product type offered did not always sufficiently support them when taking part in the activities of daily life
- 43% felt that their product type did not always sufficiently support them when taking part in work activities
- 41% experienced disturbed sleep due to product type
- Nearly 40% felt they had no choice on what product type they could use
- 3 out of 4 needed to pay for additional products themselves
“In today’s context of demographic ageing, it is increasingly important to take action to ensure that the support for managing incontinence fully meets the individual’s needs and preferences”, Anne-Sophie Parent, Secretary General of AGE Platform Europe, said. “There is a lot of room for improving the care of people with incontinence by involving them much more in the decision-making when selecting containment products”.
The study highlighted three key factors that could lead to greater user independence and satisfaction in daily management:
- information and knowledge about the different product types
- involvement in selecting the type of product
- tailored funding provisions based on patient profiles and needs
The findings of the study aligned closely with the conclusions drawn from an Expert Roundtable held in 2015. Eight leading European patient and civil society organizations joined forces and identified six recommendations to improve the care of people with incontinence in a Joint Position Statement calling to:
- Recognize continence care as a human right which enables people to live independent and dignified lives
- Increase awareness and understanding of incontinence among users and informal carers
- Improve information about incontinence and continence care provisions
- Enable choice, involvement and empowerment of people affected by incontinence
- Develop continence-friendly urban/community and home environments
- Support and prioritize a research agenda on incontinence
Eurocarers, the European network representing informal carers participated at the roundtable. John Dunne, President of the organization stated: “Incontinence is a prime example of a challenge to restore independence and dignity and keep people active in, and contributing to society”.
For the Management for Containment – A review of current continence care provisions study
• Anne-Sophie Parent, Secretary General, AGE Platform Europe
For the Joint Position Statement Patient & Civil Society Representatives Roundtable – Incontinence and the provision of better continence care at home and in the community
• John Dunne, President, Eurocarers
About the Global Forum on Incontinence
The Global Forum on Incontinence (GFI) is a high-level stakeholder forum that brings together policy makers, patient and civil society organizations, health and social care professionals, experts, and payers from all over the world to discuss and improve the organization and management of continence care at home and in the community. The 6th edition of the GFI will address the burden of incontinence compared to other chronic diseases, the cost of inaction, the ‘state of the nation’ of continence care provision today, and the importance of a more person-centered, functional needs- and outcome-based approach to continence care that will enable people with incontinence, and their carers, to live independent and dignified lives at home and in the community.
The GFI is organized by Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget (SCA) in partnership with AGE Platform Europe and Eurocarers, and with the endorsement of the following organizations: International Continence Society, International Alliance of Patients’ Organisations, European Association for Directors and Providers of Long-Term Care Services for the Elderly, European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research, European Institute of Women’s Health, Canadian Nurse Continence Advisors Association, European Union Geriatric Medicine Society, European Health Management Association, Health First Europe, Zentrum für Qualität in der Pflege, Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Selbsthilfe, Care England, International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.
Family Carers Ireland are shocked and angered to hear today of a decision by the HSE to cut Home Care Packages and reduce home help hours. “We have been informed of a national directive issued by the HSE to all managers to implement these cuts as a matter of urgency” stated Catherine Cox, Head of Communications, Family Carers Ireland. If this directive is to be implemented it will be detrimental to family care in Ireland and fly directly in the face of the commitments given under the National Carers Strategy to recognise and support family carers and care in the home. These cuts come at a time when we are seeing a justifiable restoration in public sector pay on one hand while slashing vital budgets for supports to older people and people with disabilities on the other – how is this fair or reconcilable? We are calling for an immediate reversal of this directive and brutal attack on care in the home.
Home care packages and home help hours are a crucial element of caring for a loved one with high dependency in their own homes by helping family carers with difficult tasks such as dressing, showering, hoisting and feeding highly dependent loved ones. Home Care packages are particularly vital for patients who are transferring from hospital to home to be cared for by a family member ensuring that the carer has the supports that they require to care safely for their loved one and thereby prevent their re-admission to hospital. Home help hours provide family carers with a much need break from their caring roles safe in the knowledge that their loved one is being well cared for. Cuts to these services take away older people and people with disabilities choice to live in their own homes where they wish to remain for as long as is possible.
We have seen continuous cuts to these services, particularly over the last 5 years during austerity times, but now that we are moving out of the recession how can these further cuts be justified? We should be seeing increases in these vital supports and not cuts!
We are calling on the Acting Minister to halt this attack on family carers and care in the home by withdrawing the directive with immediate effect as it will only serve to place more pressure on an already heavily burdened hospital and homecare system.
Press statement 15th April 2016
Our first National Carers Convention of 2016 will take place on Saturday 23rd April 2016 in the Ashling Hotel, Dublin from 10.30am to 1pm followed by lunch. Every group across our network is encouraged to send 2 representatives from your local group to participate and feedback on the topics of discussion.
Items on the agenda include:
- Presentation from a family carer who is caring for a loved one with mental health difficulties outlining the specific challenges that this group of family carers face
- Launch of new groups constitution and handbook for FCI
- Merger Update
- Progress report and update on the work of the National Carers Strategy monitoring group/Q&A session
- Census 2016 – Make your mark with Q22
We look forward to seeing you all on Saturday 23rd!