Just one out of the Government’s 42 objectives in their National Carer’s Strategy has been completed since it was launched in 2012 writes Juno McEnroe.
The government also made no progress at all on half of the plans set out in the National Carers’ Strategy four years ago, according to the new report.
Family Carers Ireland has rated the government’s performance on implementing the National Carers Strategy, and while progress has been made on 14 of the government’s targets, there has been no progress on 20 aspects of the plan.
“Good engagement with government departments has brought meaningful progress” said a spokesperson for Family Carers Ireland.
“However, critical areas such as respite provision and discharge from hospitals-to-home remain significantly under-resourced, resulting in negative impacts on family carers’ lives” they said.
The key points where the government falls down include inadequate or unsuitable respite provided for carers, a lack of flexibility in dealing with carers, no or poor links between GPs, hospitals and carers, and a failure to identity current gaps in services.
Damien Douglas is one carer living in Dublin, he and his wife take carer of his two disabled daughters in his home. “We’re looking after them ourselves, some help would be appreciated.
My girls are happy, we’re happy to look after them, but it would be nice if it was a little bit easier” he said.
It is estimated family carers save the state €4bn each year by taking care of their family members at home and keeping them out of state care or institutions.
But the government has said it cannot currently provide any additional resources to achieve the aims of the National Carer’s Strategy any quicker.
Moira Skelly is a full time carer for her 21-year-old daughter Ciara, who has severe physical disabilities and has not mentally developed beyond the stage of a two-year-old: “Because of her autism and her seizures, she tends to wake up most nights.
“So a night’s sleep would be very rare for us, fortunately we do get some respite and when we get our respite, that is when we sleep!
“It gives us a little bit of a break, only for that I think we would be gone completely round the bend.”