Who cares for the carers?
It’s National Carers Week and time to put the spotlight on the 160,000 adult carers as well as the 5,000 young people who quietly look after sick or disabled relatives around the country.
Many of us will become a carer at some point in our lives, providing unpaid care to someone we know who is ill, frail or disabled.
The time and energy they give to looking after other people means carers are rarely able to pursue an independent life of their own and often miss out on basic things that most of us take for granted – a weekend away, an opportunity for promotion, or even the chance to have a long bath or a full night’s sleep.
The Carers Association estimates that carers now save the state €4 billion a year.
So who cares for the Carers? If you know someone who is a carer then point him or her in the direction of one of the 16 resource centres provided by The Carers Association.
They also offer a confidential and supportive Care Line from Monday to Friday 9am-1pm on 1800 24 07 24 with experienced and trained staff. They can provide practical advice on a range of topics, such as information on Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit, and services including respite and training.
Younger carers can visit www.youngcarers.net, a UK site with a chat forum and monthly newsletter.