Monday 10 December 2018

'I always ask, if we had more of a break, would my husband still be here?' - full-time carer says '€5 won't do much'

No breaks: Jane Johnstone, with her daughter Ciara (20) and one of her sons Daniel (14). Photo: Damien Eagers
No breaks: Jane Johnstone, with her daughter Ciara (20) and one of her sons Daniel (14). Photo: Damien Eagers
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

JANE Johnstone is a full-time carer for her sons Evan (18) and Daniel (14), who have autism, and she said Budget 2019 had "done nothing for carers on the ground".

"The promise of a fiver in March won't make much difference to our lives," said the mother of three, who is from Bridgetown, Co Wexford.

"The €150m increase in funding for disability services is welcomed but to me, this sounds like another big gesture, without any detail and no established way to access funding."

Ms Johnstone's husband Rod died in October 2014, after suffering a heart attack and as a result, she said: "I always ask myself, if we had more of a break, would my husband still be here?

"My husband and I had two nights respite in 14 years before he died."

Ms Johnstone is angered the Government didn't utilise the Budget to widen respite services and home care.

"There are consequences when you place too heavy a burden on people," she said.

"Rod was the breadwinner and thank God we had life insurance and the mortgage was paid off.

"The State isn't paying carers enough for working 24-7 all year round without a break."

Irish Independent

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