No Christmas Holidays for Family Carers

December 17, 2013, 11:10

The Carers Association urges families and friends not to forget family carers this Christmas

The Carers Association is appealing to people across the country not to forget Ireland’s 187,000 family carers this Christmas. With Ireland facing an aging population in a time of mass emigration and 6,500 children providing care to family members, family carers have never needed support more.

Family carers provide unpaid care to society’s older people, those terminally ill and children and adults with disabilities – yet they have no legal entitlement to holidays, breaks or a day off from this demanding role, even at Christmas

With the majority of caring roles usually falling to a family member, The Carers Association is asking families to come together this Christmas and show they care by giving the main caregiver a much-needed break. While Christmas is a holiday for most people across the country, the work of family carers’ increases at this time as the majority of schools, day care centre and respite care services are closed over the festive period.

“Family carers do not have the luxury of Christmas holidays and often struggle financially, particularly with the extra costs of care due to the closure of day care and respite centres. The winter weather also brings extra costs of electricity and fuel, in addition to Christmas gifts, and with family carers often having no break over the festive season, it can be a very lonely and stressful time” said Catherine Cox, Communications Manager of The Carers Association.

“We would ask families, neighbours and friends across Ireland to be mindful of our family carers this Christmas and in the spirit of giving, to share the responsibility of care.”

Ireland’s 187,112 family carers contribute EUR11 million per day, providing 900,000 hours of care daily and saving the state EUR4 billion each year. Census 2011 also found that 21 per cent of family carers provide over 43 hours of care per week.

See carersireland.com or Freefone 1890 24 07 24

ENDS

For further information or to arrange interview, please contact:

 

Bridget O’ Dea, Purcell Masterson on 086 178 1377  / 056 7723211

Catherine Cox, Communications Manager of The Carers Association on

086 8521611