Enough carers suffering from depression to fill Croke Park

In Families, Health, News, Older People by Denis Naughten

More than 68,000 carers in Ireland suffer from depression, nearly enough people to fill every seat in Croke Park, claims Denis Naughten TD.

He told the Dáil last night: “A large proportion of those carers suffer depression as a result of never getting a break and for carers who are providing care seven days a week, 24 hours a day, access to a respite break is vital.

“As we know, 6,000 older people nationwide are on a waiting list for home help. Some 180 of those older people live in the constituency of Roscommon-Galway.

“This problem is compounded by the fact that seven out of ten full-time carers have no access to respite care to give them that vital break. They cannot get a break if they want to go to a family occasion and they cannot even get a few hours off to attend a family funeral.

“This leaves carers isolated and alone. It leaves them far more prone to getting sick, leading them to be hospitalised themselves, forcing the older person or person with a disability for whom they care into long-term residential care, which has a knock-on impact on the health service and on society as a whole.

“We need to ensure a proper legal right to respite care for carers in this country to ensure they get the opportunity to have that break.

“Whether it is a break of a few hours every week from providing full-time care to an older person or a break for a family occasion, that access needs to be put in place immediately,” concluded Denis Naughten.