'Budget 2018: Share the Care' call for more investment for home help

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Reporter:

Leitrim Observer Reporter

'Budget 2018: Share the Care' call for more investment for home help

amily Carers Dorothy Meaney, Ireland's Carer of the Year 2017, and Eamon O' Fearghail mentioned below with Catherine Cox, Family Carers Ireland

One in 20 in Ireland is a family carer, this will be one in five by 2030 and Health System inadequate

Family Carers Ireland presented its Pre-Budget Submission 2018 to Government today in Dublin. The Submission is titled ‘Budget 2018: Share the Care’ to highlight that care must be a shared responsibility between the state, community and wider family – not left solely to family carers struggling with insufficient supports.

Their submission was mentioned in a local context, when Deputy Mary Loud McDonald called on Taoiseach Leo Vardkar to intervene in the HSE case of Cloone Mother Olivia Harte, and release funds for a home care package so she can be discharged from hospital.

One in twenty people in Ireland today is a family carer, collectively providing €10 billion in unpaid care each year. By 2030, demographic changes will require one in five to take on a caring role. Family carers are plugging the holes in an inadequate health system, often at a high personal cost financially, physically and emotionally.

Family Carers Ireland is asking Government to support family carers in Budget 2018, a group who save the state billions of euro.

Speaking on the launch, Catherine Cox, Family Carers Ireland said, “Throughout our 22 resource centres across Ireland, it is clear that family carers are under-supported and find it very difficult to access vital services, such as respite care to give them a much-needed break. This is not something new but with home help hours cut significantly over the last number of years combined with an increase in the number of people requiring care, it is a seriously growing problem.

The responsibility for caring is not being balanced appropriately between family, community and the state. This is the theme of our year-long “Share the Care” campaign. The present reality is that family carers prop up the health system and are expected to fill the gaps in resources in the system regardless of the detrimental costs to their physical and mental health.”

In its Pre-Budget Submission 2018 Family Carers Ireland is calling on Government to make three firm commitments to ‘share the care’:

  1.  Immediate investment in homecare – carers urgently need a right to homecare. For too long homecare has been underfunded, inconsistent and inequitable. Family carers can’t continue unsupported while waiting for legislation to be enacted.
  2. Support all carers to ensure they aren’t financially burdened by their caring role. Three quarters of family carers don’t receive the Carers Allowance. Priorities for Family Carers Ireland include increasing the Carer Support Grant to €2,000 and reinstating the Bereavement Grant of €850 to help with funeral costs.
  3. Allocate funding for a new National Carers’ Strategy (2018-2022). With more funding available, this strategy must be adequately funded to implement real supports for family carers.Two family carers presented at the launch emphasising the challenges they face due to serious lack of supports and services on the ground.

Family Carers Ireland provides a range of supports and services for family carers through its 22 resource centres nationwide and advocates fairness for carers. The organisation is currently running its year-long ‘Share the Care’ campaign to help family carers self-identify and seek supports. www.familycarers.ie