A key objective of Government policy for older people, children and adults with an illness or a disability is to support them to live in dignity and independence in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. Carers are vital to the achievement of this objective and are considered a backbone of care provision in Ireland.
The National Carers’ Strategy, which was published in July 2012, is a cross-departmental strategy that sets the strategic direction for future policies, services and supports provided by Government Departments and agencies for carers.
The Strategy contains actions to implement the following four national goals:
- Recognise the value and contribution of carers and promote their inclusion in decisions relating to the person they are caring for;
- Support carers to manage their physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing;
- Support carers to care with confidence through the provision of adequate information, training, services and supports;
- Empower carers to participate as fully as possible in economic and social life.
In the National Carer’s Strategy, Departments committed to publishing Annual Reports on progress.
The Carers Association is Ireland’s national voluntary organisation for and of family carers in the home. Family carers provide high levels of care to a range of people including frail older people, people with severe disabilities, the terminally ill and children with special needs. The Association was established in 1987 to lobby and advocate on behalf of carers.
Financial supports for Carers are mainly provided through Schemes administered by the Department of Social Protection. Details of these supports are available on the Department’s website (www.welfare.ie), these include – Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit, Respite Care Grant, and Domiciliary Care Allowance.
The HSE website provides information on Coping with Dementia. You can read the information here.