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Teva Ireland launches peer-to-peer support platform for patients and carers

Life Effects, a new initiative from Teva, is a peer-to-peer support platform where carers and patients share advice, insights and provide support to others on the same journey

There comes a moment in everyone's life when they will be called upon to look after those closest to them.

 

There are 391,000 family carers in Ireland who, time and time again, go above and beyond for the person in their care. Ireland’s carers are under immense pressure and face new challenges daily, particularly during Covid-19. 

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter, a pioneering caregiving advocate, famously stated: "There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.”

With the ongoing global pandemic, now more than ever we are seeing the value and importance of caregiving across the world. Carers and those who require care are in a period of uncertainty, making the role of a caregiver even more challenging than usual. In many cases, both the carer and person in their care have had to adjust to a new normal in their daily routine, often adding new pressures and complications for both.  

Global context

Research conducted by Teva in 2018 found that there are approximately 3.8 billion people globally who are family carers*. A caregiver’s role in the health system is vital and yet often can go unnoticed. Carers are an invisible army, supporting their loved ones on their healthcare journey and catering for their changing needs. Every patient is different, and every carer’s situation is different. According to the research, 55 per cent of carers juggle their caring responsibilities with their job and one in three caregivers have had to alter their routine completely to take up their caregiving role.

Local context

At the launch of National Carers Week 2020, Liam O'Sullivan, executive director of Care Alliance Ireland commented that there are 391,270 family carers in Ireland, a huge number of carers who deserve to be recognised for the incredible work that they do.

According to the research carried out by Teva, of those surveyed, four in 10 care for their spouse or partner and 28 per cent care for a child under 17 years of age*. Most carers in Ireland are aged between 25 and 44 years and 67 per cent of those surveyed also work outside of the home, in addition to being a carer.

The impact that the role of being a carer has on their day-to-day life differs, but of those surveyed, 41 per cent of Irish respondents felt that caring for their loved one has taken a large emotional toll on them, while 26 per cent feel they don’t have enough access to information to enable them to care for their loved one.

Introducing Life Effects – a new initiative from Teva

Teva recognises the concerns of carers and that often, the only people who truly understand what it is like to be a carer for someone with a chronic condition or disability is a fellow carer. Similarly, patients with chronic illnesses can find helpful articles written by others who have the same condition and are on the same journey.

Life Effects provides advice, tips and articles on common challenges experienced by both carers and patients. Whether it’s a new app to help a carer or patient organise appointments, or practical life hacks to help them both; the support through the Life Effects platform will give back a sense of community to those who may feel forgotten, or perhaps lost, during this time.

The ability to connect with other people who have previously, or are currently, going on a similar journey is powerful and can provide the comfort and reassurance a carer or patient is looking for.

Some examples of the content that a carer can find on Life Effects are; Marc Lawrence’s advice on ‘4 ways caregivers can adapt to the new normal of Covid-19’, Suzanne White’s reflection on ‘What I wish I knew when I became a caregiver’, Ciara O’Rourke’s ‘6 tips for mental health and migraine during a global crisis’, and ‘10 ways to help a loved one with chronic illness’ by Sarah Bailey.

Yvonne Neeson, senior product manager, Generics at Teva Ireland: “We are extremely proud to bring Life Effects to Ireland. We understand the immense challenges carers and patients are under every day, particularly in light of Covid-19. We salute carers across Ireland who sacrifice so much to make such a difference to the person in their care. We want to help make carers visible, to give them a voice – a platform to share tips, advice and support which is why Life Effects is very important. This new platform is a way for carers to get peer-to-peer support and take comfort in the knowledge that other carers are on a similar journey.”

Acts of Love video

To celebrate Carers Week from June 8th - 14th, Life Effects share a wonderfully emotive video that tells the story of John and Mary, a loving couple whose lives are altered when one of them falls ill and the other assumes the role of caregiver, leading to a new normal for both people. The short video beautifully illustrates the love and dedication a carer has for a person in their care.

John and Mary’s story is not unique. Every day carers go to extraordinary lengths, often unnoticed, to look after the people they love. These carers deserve to be recognised for the value they bring to their families, communities and society as a whole and their stories should be told.

The important role a carer plays in the life of someone living with a chronic condition should never be underestimated. It’s important that they get due recognition for the contribution they make to bettering the life of the person or people in their care.

For more information, visit Life Effects

* “Brand Activation kick off research, UK and Ireland by Edelman insights” 2018