Family Carers Ireland (FCI) has launched its year-long ‘Share the Care’ campaign. The campaign aims to make 2017 the Year of the Carer, and will highlight the vital role played by the 3,474 family carers in Offaly.
‘Share the Care’ will be supported by a range of nationwide awareness building activities, events, research projects, and complemented with political engagement at all levels. The campaign will strive to give all carers a voice so that the issues facing them are heard.
One of the fundamental messages of the ‘Share the Care’ campaign is that nobody should care alone. Caring should be a shared responsibility between a number of partners and parties including the person requiring care, the family carer, the wider family, the State and other relevant agencies such as service providers.
The present reality is that family carers prop up the health system through their dedication and are often expected to fill the gaps in resources in the system regardless of the cost to them – financially, socially, or in terms of their physical and mental health and well-being.
"Importantly, “Share the Care” also calls on family carers to self-identify as carers and seek support from their wider family, the state and society as quite often carers find it difficult to reach out and ask for help," a statement read.
Brendan O’Connor, Journalist and TV Presenter, has spoken openly many times about the challenges facing carers in accessing supports and services, in particular for children with disabilities. Brendan was on hand to launch the campaign and he commented: “The issues the organisation are highlighting are ones which I feel very strongly about, and anything which can help to promote the difficulties facing carers and the lack of services available to them has my full backing. People with disabilities are not adequately taken care of in this country, in fact they are neglected, and it’s time that we woke up to this reality and started to do something about it.”
Commenting on the launch, Catherine Cox, Head of Communications at Family Carers Ireland, said, “Our Share the Care campaign will run throughout 2017 and will create awareness of the work undertaken by family carers across Offaly. We also want to provide carers with a platform where they can communicate the issues that are facing them, and where they can get help and support.”
Throughout the course of 2017, Family Carers Ireland will aim to tell the stories of all carers in society, across all age groups and demographics and in all corners of the country. The campaign will also focus on various issues of importance to carers, some of these topics will include, carers mental health and well-being, knowing your rights, keeping active, healthy eating and many more. Alongside all of this awareness building, it will include advocacy and engagement with political parties at every level.
One of the key issues Family Carers Ireland has been advocating for and will continue to bring to the fore, particularly given Minister Mc Entee’s recent commitment, will be for a statutory entitlement to homecare services which is demand led and available to all ages.
Family Carers Ireland is the coming together of two long standing charities of over 25 years – The Carers Association and Caring for Carers in 2016.
For further information on the ‘Share the Care’ campaign, and the year’s activities please log on to www.familycarers.ie.
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