Monday 16 September 2019

Balancing act: Young carers struggle to study and look after family

Playful: Current Young Carers of the Year Harry (14) and Molly Flynn (11), from Ferrybank, Waterford, who care for their little sister Isabelle (7) at the launch of this year’s awards. Photo: Mark Stedman
Playful: Current Young Carers of the Year Harry (14) and Molly Flynn (11), from Ferrybank, Waterford, who care for their little sister Isabelle (7) at the launch of this year’s awards. Photo: Mark Stedman
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

Young carers have spoken about the difficulty of balancing their school studies with looking after their loved ones.

Children and adults, who were recipients of the annual Carer of the Year award, travelled to the Westin Hotel in Dublin yesterday to highlight the huge sacrifice and commitment carers make.

Teenager Adam Hyland is one of the hundreds of inspirational young people who help care for the needs of a family member.

Adam (15), from Clondalkin, Dublin 22, generously gives time every day to support his father Patrick, who has suffered physical ill-health and is now in the early stages of dementia.

"Since I spend so much of my time taking care of my dad, I don't get to do many of the things most teenagers my age do," he told the Irish Independent. "I'm in my Junior Cert year now and it's difficult to find the balance between my studies and being a carer. But my dad has done so much for me growing up so I'm happy to do whatever it takes to give him the best of care."

According to Family Carers Ireland, 355,000 people in Ireland are providing 45 hours of care per week in their homes. They say their work is saving the State €10bn every year.

Today, one in 10 people provide care to a loved one and by 2030 demographic changes predict that one in five people will take on a caring role.

Family Carers Ireland is encouraging anyone who knows a carer who goes above and beyond their role to nominate them for the 2019 Carer of the Year Awards. Nomination forms are available online at www.familycarers.ie.

Irish Independent

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