Family Carers Ireland has launched its ‘Family Carers Canvass Card’. The campaign entitled ‘No one Should Have to Care Alone’ is calling on electoral candidates and the community to prioritise family carers in the next Government.
Family Carers Ireland is appealing to communities to make their voice count and challenge candidates to commit to sharing the care with Ireland’s 355,000 family carers. The cards are available from www.familycarers.ie and outline five main areas where change is urgently needed to support family carers, the unsung heroes of Ireland’s inadequate health service.
Family Carers Canvass Card Key Questions for Candidates
- Will you reform the means test for Carer’s Allowance?
- Will you abolish the postcode lottery in carer supports by funding the €3.2m Carers Guarantee proposal?
- Will you commit to increasing funding to ensure demand-led access to homecare?
- Will you commit to giving all full time family carers the right to 20 days respite per year?
- Will you commit to abolish waiting lists for essential therapies for children with special needs? (e.g. speech & language, physio, occupational therapy & psychology)
Family Carers Ireland (FCI) is a national charity dedicated to supporting the estimated 355,000 family carers in Ireland. With limited availability to supports and services, family carers are an extremely vulnerable group of Irish society. Family carers prop up the national health service at a high personal cost – financially, physically and emotionally.
- Family carers save the state €10 billion per year.
- One in ten adults in Ireland is a family carer.
- By 2030, demographic changes predict that one in five people will take on a caring role.
- It is estimated that there are over 57,000 young carers (under 18) in Ireland looking after someone in their family who has an illness or disability.
- 82 per cent of family carers provide over 50 hours of unpaid care to their loved ones each week and of them, 61 per cent provide more than 100 hours of care per week.*
Family Carers Ireland’s Head of Communications and Carer Engagement, Catherine Cox said:
“We have an opportunity to address urgent needs for family carers across Ireland who work tirelessly, often 24/7, to care for their family, friends and loved ones with very little access to services or respite. Family carers prop-up the Irish healthcare system with their selfless commitment by freeing up nursing home and hospital beds. Their sacrifice saves the State €10bn each year, despite this, carers are paying an enormous personal price financially, physically and mentally. Family Carers Ireland are urging candidates in the forthcoming election to prioritise family carers in the next Government. Please ask candidates in the 2020 election what they will do to support Ireland’s 355,000 family carers because no one should have to care alone.”
*Family Carers Ireland in collaboration with the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland and UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems launched a new report in October 2019 entitled Paying the Price: The Hidden Impacts of Caring.
- 74% of care recipients requiring 100+ hours of care per week had no access to home support hours
- 49% of carers said that no supports and services were available
- 79% of carers supporting children with care needs found it difficult to make ends meet
- 25% of carers could not access supports and services due to distance and/or transport issues
- 43% of carers said that supports and services were not disability, condition and/or age appropriate
- 44% of carers surveyed regularly deal with abusive behaviour.