Ireland’s 360,000 family carers are being celebrated this week as National Carers Week takes place across the country with scores of events being organised specifically for those who care for their loved ones.
However, research being published today (Monday) as part of this 13th National Carers Week, indicates that many family carers continue to be unable to leave their own home and depend heavily on online supports for information, support and social connection.
Care Alliance Ireland, in partnership with the eleven other National Carers Week partner groups recently undertook a survey of 300 family carers across Ireland. The full report is available here
- Over half (59%) of respondents said they felt lonely or isolated either ‘often’ or ‘always’, with a further 37% saying they ‘sometimes’ felt that way.
- Only 3% of respondents said they could ‘always’ make it to social and support events that they would like to get to – with almost a quarter (23%) saying they can ‘never’ get to those kinds of events.
- Over half the respondents are members of online support groups and 76% have looked up information regarding the health of their loved one online.
Speaking about the research, Zoe Hughes, Policy & Research Officer with Care Alliance Ireland said;
“It’s clear that the lack of on-the-ground supports like respite and home care is having a huge impact on family carers being able to take a break and seek supports – meaning that online supports are increasingly become vital for many of those who are isolated and lonely in their role”.
Following from the results of the research, Care Alliance Ireland are hosting an online coffee morning for those family carers who are unable to make it to the many events happening across the country from 10-16th June. Carers who would like to take part should check the National Carers Week Facebook Page for details.