Ryan calls on Goverment to take care of the carers
Local Labour TD for Fingal, Brendan Ryan, spoke in favour of his party's motion in support of carers in Dáil Éireann last week.
The Labour Party motion called for measures such as the phasing out of means testing on carers allowance and increased supports for carers who face isolation and poor health themselves.
Deputy Ryan said; 'The Labour Party has always been a strong advocate for carers. With this motion, we seek to address outstanding issues impacting the daily life and well being of Carers, such as the eligibility attached to means-testing. We are also asking the government to conduct a study of the income and living costs of carers, to ensure that income supports are sufficient to ensure all carers can attain a decent minimum standard of living for themselves.
'With this Motion, Labour wants to give a voice to carers as all too often, people who are caring for a loved one are doing so in isolation. That is why we need a new National Carer's Strategy. We need a strategy that recognises the value of carers. That recognises how much the state benefits from carers. That recognises how much the Carer's save
'It is difficult to quantify just how many carers there are in Ireland at any one time. But we all know at least one person in our personal life who is providing full-time care to a loved one. It is likely we know more than one. As local representatives, we meet dozens if not hundreds of carers during our time in office. Indeed, many of us in this chamber have been carers or lived in a home in which full care is being provided. In that case, we know the commitment, the compassion and in the words of our Motion, the inestimable value carers provide to our society.'
Deputy Ryan continued: ' Currently, one in ten people is now involved in caring. According to Family Carers Ireland, that figure is set to rise to one in five by 2030. If every one of those carers were to down tools in the morning, the impact that would have on our health system is incalculable. Carers take the pressure off acute hospital beds and A&E's and they give those they care for the comfort of their own home, which assists with better medical outcomes.'
He said: 'Too many carers are suffering burn out and serious ill health as a result of the stress and strain of their care work. I hope that the Government will accept that we do need to do more.'