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“Government must grasp opportunity to support Family Carers”: Carol Nolan

Independent TD for Laois-Offaly Carol Nolan has engaged with the office of the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, and the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphries, in an attempt to advance a number of the policy objectives being advocated by Family Carers Ireland.

Deputy Nolan said that while there is a clear moral obligation involved in supporting family carers there is also a strong and undeniable economic argument to maintain and expand the system of supports currently available to them:

“I know from my previous engagement with the Carers that the average weekly cost of a bed for a person with dementia is about €1,100 in a care home and about €5,700 in an acute hospital. The average cost of a weekly intensive home care package however (average 33hrs) is about €745 per week.”

“This means that Family carers of people with dementia provide a value to the State of €807 million per annum.”

Deputy Nolan said that “Family Carers save the State enormous sums of money each and every year and it is about time that they had clear recognition of that fact in the up-coming Budget.”

“I have asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will provide €5m in annual funding to deliver the Carer’s Guarantee, but also if she will provide €68.5m to increase weekly carer payments by €8, Carer’s Support Grant to €2,000 and Carer’s Allowance income disregards.”

“I am also calling on the Minister to publish a refreshed National Carers’ Strategy Action Plan 2021 – 2025 and to introduce the Statutory Homecare Scheme including an annual entitlement to 20 days respite and a Carer Needs Assessment for fulltime carers.”

“The Minister for Health has already confirmed to me that he is progressing work on one of the Family Carers objectives which is the establishment of a Care Commission that will examine the supports that can be extended to older persons who receive care.”

“Family Carers not only need the help of government, they have a right to it given the enormous human and economic benefits they bring to us all,” concluded Deputy Nolan.

 

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