The survey was carried out by the Neurological Alliance of Ireland in partnership with Care Alliance Ireland.
The survey, conducted last month, showed that most carers have been looking after a loved one for an average of eight years, provide care for over 100 hours a week and feel their health has suffered as a result of their caring. The survey also captured carer concerns about the impact of government cutbacks on them and their loved ones.
The survey found:
- 8.5 years was the average length of time the person was caring for a loved one
- 71.8% felt their health had suffered from being a carer
- 61.1% felt that government cutbacks had had a moderate or significant impact on the person they cared for
- 57.2% reported a significant or moderate impact of government cutbacks on them as carers
The survey found that the person requiring support needed significant help with the following tasks:
- 76.3% with travelling outside the home
- 66.3% with planning their day
- 60% with remembering to do everyday things
- 61.5% with spending time in the house on their own
“The survey found that six out of 10 people needed moderate to significant help with simple tasks such as washing and getting dressed. When asked about the most difficult things about caring, carers mentioned the isolation, lack of freedom and the impact of caring on family life and relationships. We further found that the most important source of support for them as carers is friends, family, specific voluntary organisations, home care support and access to respite care” says Liam O’Sullivan, Executive Director, of Care Alliance Ireland.
He continued: “The government has committed to producing the first ever National Carers Strategy and a draft has been prepared by the Department of Health. We would like to see this Strategy published along with a timeframe for its implementation as soon as possible. This is an issue that is supported by politicians across all parties.”
Chris Macey, Chair of NAI says "This survey highlights the huge challenges facing carers of people with neurological conditions, they are the unfair victims of this recession because we never invested in these services, and now the little they have is being cut back".