Brendan O’Connor is supporting the first National Awareness Day for Ireland’s 355,000 family carers.
Family carers celebrate their first National Awareness Day on Thursday (June 21) and Tipperary carers will be selling badges outside Dunnes Stores at Oakville and Davis Road in Clonmel as part of the ‘Shine a Light’ campaign.
The fundraiser aims to raise much-needed funds for essential services and respite, supporting Ireland’s 355,000 family carers.
Family carers are the unsung heroes who prop up national services at a high personal cost financially, physically and emotionally. Family carers save the Government €10bn in unpaid care each year. By 2030, demographic changes predict that one in five people will take on a caring role.
Family carers collectively provide 6,608,515 hours of care per week. They provide on average 38.7 unpaid hours of care per week - the equivalent of a full-time job. It is estimated that there are over 57,000 young carers in Ireland looking after someone in their family who has an illness or disability. Family carers are in crisis with limited access to essential services and respite.
Speaking at the launch, Catherine Cox, Head of Communications and Carer Engagement at Family Carers Ireland, said: “Family Carers play an essential role in maintaining Ireland’s health service. Without their dedication to providing care for their loved ones in their home, the pressure on hospital beds and services would be immeasurable. Today we are shining a light on family carers by asking the public to buy a pin and to support our National Awareness Day on June 21, the longest day of the year.”