Family carers are being exploited by State

Carers expected to fill gaps in underfunded regardless of the cost to their health

Alan and Johanna Powell are parents to a disabled child, Siobhan, who is 32. Now in their 60s, the Powells are seeking full-time institutional care for their daughter. Video: Enda O'Dowd

Family Carer and mother Johanne Powell made a lot of people sit up and take notice this week. I have known her for many years and know the round-the-clock care and attention she gives her daughter Siobhán. I see the toll this level of care takes on parents every day of the week. Not everyone may feel easy with Johanne’s blunt description of life in her house, but how many could step into her shoes? Johanne has started a conversation that this country needs to have. And good on her.

Last week Family Carers Ireland held our annual Carer of the Year awards which recognises and celebrates the dedication and commitment of over 200,000 family carers across Ireland providing care for their loved ones. While it is important to value the work of family carers it is equally important to recognise the real challenges, frustrations and in some cases, tremendous burden that caring can and does bring. This can be particularly the case when it comes to caring for a child/adult with a profound disability as is evident in the recent article by Rosita Boland on the Powell family.

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