Minister O’Malley opens “Share the Care” – first Conference specifically for carers of Dementia/Alzheimer sufferers
Mr Tim O’Malley TD, Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children, today (12th November 2004) opened the Conference entitled ‘Share the Care’, the first conference specifically for carers of Dementia/Alzheimer sufferers, at Breaffy House, Castlebar, Co Mayo.
The aim of the conference was to provide information for the carer’s on services available to them, and in addition covering aspects such as legal, welfare, medical issues and psychological affects of caring.
Minister O’Malley paid tribute to the enormous contribution made to society by the good work of carers in the home. While acknowledging that the Government still had some work to do, he stressed that substantial progress had been made in the last few years to address some of the issues which concerned carers, including the following:
- additional funding of over €6 million to the health boards specifically for the support of carers.
- over €12 million was allocated to the Boards since 1999 to recruit more paramedical and nursing staff to provide locally based services for older people and their carers.
These, along with other measures by his Department and the provision of a number of measures by the Department of Social and Family Affairs including:
- a Carer’s Benefit Scheme
- increases in the Carers Allowance
- the extension of free schemes such as free electricity allowance, free telephone rental, free TV licence and an annual payment towards the cost of respite care to those in receipt of Carer’s Allowance demonstrate in tangible terms the commitment of this Government to the support of carers and those dependent on them.
The Minister reiterated that the development of the range of supports for carers will continue to be a priority for the Government which recognises the value of the caring ethos and which will provide real support and practical assistance to the people involved.