Time to value work of carers

 

Sir, – The number of carers is increasing rapidly while support for their role in terms of additional care and funding is dwindling to worrying levels. In the past year we have seen coverage in the national media of carers who are in crisis, who are struggling everyday to provide a suitable level of care to their loved ones in the face of inadequate Government support.

Today is Family Carers Ireland “Shine a Light” day. The number of carers in Ireland is approximately 360,000 and it is estimated that family carers contribute up to €10 billion in care services to the economy each year. It is now a matter of urgency that this Government formulates and publishes a fully funded second phase of the National Carers Strategy, which is long overdue, and the expansion and full funding of the home-care scheme to provide respite to families.

As a carer I am very aware that, just as persons with disabilities are individuals who should be able to adapt services to their needs, carers should also be considered as a diverse group who each require a range of services and options if they are to be properly supported. This means immediate help in the form of access to adequate respite care and long-term assistance in maintaining skills and job opportunities through education. – Yours, etc,

NEASA HOURIGAN,

Chairwoman of

Policy Council,

Green Party Ireland,

Cabra, Dublin 7.