In 2019 following a nationwide consultation with family carers and our members Family Carers Ireland changed our tag line from “Fairness for Carers “to “No one should have to care alone”.
We did this as we firmly believe that caring at home should be a shared responsibility between the family carer, the wider family, the community and most importantly the state.
There are 355,000 family carers in Ireland today providing over 16 million hours of unpaid care in the home each week to older people, those with disabilities and children with special needs. These carers save our state over €10 billion every year and prop up our health services. Yet despite their massive contribution thousands are in crisis and without any support. Thousands more are receiving completely inadequate levels of services and supports. Family carers’ physical and mental health is suffering, resulting in many experiencing exhaustion, depression and burnout. (include something from our Paying the Price survey here on stats and perhaps that pyramid that shows x amount struggling and x amount coping etc.).
Family carers want to care for their loved ones at home but they cannot do it alone. They need access to vital supports in the community including:
- Respite (residential and in-home)
- In-home support
- Therapies for the cared for person including speech and language, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and behavioural therapy
As a country we need to move away from discretionary supports for family carers to a statutory entitlement to home care which would include a basket of supports and services for family carers to ensure that they can care safely for their loved ones at home. That way no one would have to care alone!