Family Carers Ireland appeal to public to support carers in crisis

Family Carers Ireland has made an urgent appeal to the public to get behind its national fundraising drive ‘Paws for a Cause’ to support family carers in crisis.

With the rising cost of living hitting family carers disproportionately harder, the charity is seeing unprecedented numbers seeking help.

People are being asked to walk or run 24km during National Carers Week, 13th -19th June, to raise vital funds for struggling family carers. To register or donate, simply visit www.familycarers.ie.

Family Carers Ireland is the national charity supporting the 500,000+ family carers across the country who care for loved ones such as children or adults with additional needs, physical or intellectual disabilities, frail older people, those with palliative care needs or those living with chronic illnesses, mental ill-health, or addiction.

It provides a range of services and supports for family carers through its Carer Support Centres nationwide and through its National Freephone Careline 1800 24 07 24.

There are currently 500,000 family carers in Ireland, that is one in every eight adults, and 67,000 young carers (aged 10-17), with this number continuing to rise.

“Our national Crisis Fund provides a vital lifeline to families by providing emergency respite, counselling and emotional support as well as helping to purchase practical support items including hoists and wheelchairs and in especially difficult cases, puts food on tables,” said Catherine Cox, Head of Communications and Policy, Family Carers Ireland. “Many family carers face financial hardship and a constant battle to access essential services and supports and have simply nowhere else left to turn.

“No one should have to care alone, but the reality is that we need donations to continue to provide practical support to so many family carers.Demand for our services has never been higher as family carers continue to experience barriers in accessing vital supports and services. Many services remain curtailed as a result of Covid-19, vulnerable people continue to shield from the virus and the chronic pressures on our healthcare system are acutely felt by family carers.

“In 2021, our National Freephone Careline team spoke to almost 4,200 family carers seeking support and information while our network of Carer Support Centres had nearly 86,000 unique engagements with family carers. On top of this, we delivered approximately 2,300 hours of counselling to family carers and had almost 2,900 people attending free courses delivered by Family Carers Ireland.

“It is so important to remember that most of us will either provide care or receive care at some point in our lives. We know how important it is to get the right support at the right time. You just can’t do it by yourself and that is where Family Carers Ireland comes in. We really need the public’s help to carry on our work and reach the hundreds of thousands of family carers who are cut off and isolated. Please give what you can.”

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