Government Strategy makes poor progress, says Carers Association

Government  Strategy makes poor progress, says Carers Association

The Carers' Association has said that the government has made poor progress in implementing its own Carers Strategy, and that some areas are getting worse.

It has called for funding to be restored, and they say that carers save the state €4 billion a year.

Damien Hickey, aged 33, looks after his Grandmother who raised him, and whom he calls Mum. Mr Hickey has been a carer for 9 years, and he says that it is a full-time job.

"Washing, cleaning, eating, she needs everything provided to her within the house. The only two things that I do not do for her are eat her food and sleep for her," said Mr Hickey.

"I've been married for three years, we have not had a honeymoon yet, and we have only ever had two nights away," said Mr Hickey.

The Carers Association, which represents 187,000 carers like Mr Hickey, said that the Government has made poor progress with its National Carers’ Strategy implemented in 2012.

Spokeswoman Catherine Cox has said that funding cuts, of almost 20 % are the hardest for their members.

"Respite provision is very poor across the country, so carers often cannot get respite for breaks, which leaves them struggling," said Ms Cox.

The Association estimates that carers save the state €4bn a year, caring for loved ones who would otherwise need to be looked after by the HSE.

And Catherine Cox said that there is no joined-up thinking when it comes to discharging people from hospital, which has knock-on effects on hospital overcrowding.

"When people are being discharged from hospital, carers are not given the support they need. If they were given a little bit of training and the equipment they require, carers could bring their loved ones home quicker which would free hospital beds to be used by other people," said Ms Cox.

Carers have said that restoring funding would not cost a lot, and it would make a huge difference to people's lives and to quality of care.

"It would be detrimental to the finances of the country if the HSE had to take over all the tasks that I do," said Mr Hickey.

"Although I value the job I do, I do not think that it is valued by anyone else."


More in this Section

Status yellow weather warning in place as country braces for snow and icy conditionsStatus yellow weather warning in place as country braces for snow and icy conditions

Aontú could go to court over debate exclusionAontú could go to court over debate exclusion

Tom Jones praises Irish talent on The Voice UK as Cork and Galway natives take to the stageTom Jones praises Irish talent on The Voice UK as Cork and Galway natives take to the stage

Extinction Rebellion takes its message to the doors of Dublin while canvassing in the cityExtinction Rebellion takes its message to the doors of Dublin while canvassing in the city


Lifestyle

Orlagh Kelly owns The Reading Room bookshop on Main Street in Carrick-on-Shannon in Co Leitrim.We sell books: The Reading Room - ‘Small bookshops, curated by people who care, make a difference’

As Stockton’s Wing release a retrospective album, Mike Hanrahan tells Donal O’Keeffe about getting back on the road, and his love of cookingStill a beautiful affair: Mike Hanrahan talks about getting back on the road with Stockton's Wing

An ongoing cull is resulting in a major reduction in the deer population in one of the country’s most visited natural attractions.Donal Hickey: Deer birth patterns evolving

A Courtmacsherry neighbour, Kathy Gannon tells me that when the tide is out, the vast acres of clean, grey mud of the bay reflect the sun in splendour in the clear, sharp air.Damien Enright: ‘How enchanting for humanity that we have birds’

More From The Irish Examiner