[10.06.19] Today, twelve Irish organisations have partnered to launch National Carers Week 2019 with the help of broadcaster and Family Carers Ireland patron Mary Kennedy. Now in its 13th year, National Carers Week will run from 10th-16th June 2019.
With 355,000 family carers in Ireland, this week carries huge importance and aims to raise awareness of carers in their communities, to deliver events for carers nationwide and to engage with those who are not availing of supports and services.
Family carers are encouraged to take part in the many events which are taking place nationwide. There is a huge array of events happening in every county from yoga, flower arranging and afternoon tea to pamper days and masses. There is also a virtual coffee morning which will be streamed on the National Carers Week Facebook page for those unable to attend other events.
Research published today indicates that many family carers depend heavily on online supports for information, support and social connection as they are unable to leave their homes. Care Alliance Ireland, in partnership with the eleven other National Carers Week partner groups, recently undertook a survey of 300 family carers across Ireland .
- Over half (59%) of respondents said they felt lonely or isolated.
- Only 3% of respondents said they could ‘always’ make it to social and support events that they would like to get to – with almost a quarter (23%) saying they can ‘never’ get to those kinds of events.
- Over half the respondents are members of online support groups and 76% have looked up information regarding the health of their loved one online.
Speaking about the research, Zoe Hughes, Policy & Research Officer with Care Alliance Ireland said: “It’s clear that the lack of on-the-ground supports like respite and home care is having a huge impact on family carers being able to take a break and seek supports – meaning that online supports are increasingly become vital for many of those who are isolated and lonely in their role.”
Marian Mahon, Carer Supports and Advocacy Manager with Family Carers Ireland, said: “We are delighted to team up with the other partner organisations for National Carers Week once again this year. Family carers provide a massive amount of care for their loved ones with three in five carers provide over 100 hours of care per week . This week is a fantastic way for carers to learn about the supports available, to come together and share their experiences while taking part in events throughout Ireland.”
National Carers Week is co-ordinated by 12 Irish organisations: Family Carers Ireland, Care Alliance Ireland, Irish Cancer Society, Special Needs Parents Association, MS Ireland, Disability Federation of Ireland, St. Michael’s House, The Irish Hospice Foundation, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Central Remedial Clinic, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland and Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland.
For a full list of events taking place on National Carers Week, visit carersweek.ie/events.
 Full report of survey undertaken by Care Alliance in partnership with the eleven other National Carers Week partner groups is available here.
 Figure taken from a new report titled ‘Paying the Price: The Physical, Mental and Psychological Impact of Caring’ which was conducted by Family Carers Ireland in collaboration with the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland and UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems.