Carers Gather For National Respite Weekend And Conference

From: Dunphy Public Relations
Published: Wed Mar 03 2010

Over 500 family carers drawn from Caring for Carers Ireland’s network of 101 Carers Groups throughout Ireland will attend the conference, entitled ‘Sustaining Long Term Carers: A Fair Deal for Family Carers?’.

Representatives of Health and Social Care Providers, Policy Makers and Decision Takers are also scheduled to attend. Organisers say the issues for discussion will contribute to the national debate on the future of care provision in the community and strategies necessary to support care in challenging times.

Speakers scheduled to address the Conference include Minister Áine Brady TD, Department of Health and Children; Paschal Moynahan, Director Services for Older People, HSE West; Marian Harkin MEP; Minister Eamon O’Cuív; Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs; Prof. Joyce O’Connor, Patron, Caring for Carers Ireland, Chair of the Digital Hub and Dublin Inner City Partnership, and former President of the National College of Ireland; and Brigid Barron, Innovation and Programme Manager, Caring for Carers Ireland.

Caring For Carers Ireland Chairperson Eilish Smith said: "This coming weekend is about taking time out and letting others care for you for at least two days. The primary objective of the conference is to set out the vision of Caring for Carers Ireland in relation to future policy. The debate will further a deeper understanding of and commitment to the development of an integrated and co-ordinated community care service. It will also acknowledge the Family Carer as a key partner in care provision, in particular long term care in the community".

"The issues for discussion at this conference will contribute to the national debate on the future of caring in the community and strategy to support a fair and equitable system for Family Carers in challenging times", Ms. Smith added.

Mary McMahon, CEO of Caring For Carers Ireland added that Long Term Family Care Giving will be given special recognition at the Conference in Galway. She continued: "A special award will be presented to an outstanding family caregiver representing all caregivers, by Minister Aíne Brady. We warmly welcome the Government’s commitment, set out in the renewed programme for Government in October 2009, that it will continue to recognise and support the role of Family Carers who provide a vital service, not only for their own loved ones but for our community as a whole. Family Carers remain the backbone of community care in our changing society".

Commenting on the work of Caring for Carers Ireland, Ms. McMahon stated: "The role of the organisation in providing a National Training Programme for Carers has been supported through Pobal by the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. Minister Eamon O’Cuív recognises the achievement of the Organisation who have completed training for 1084 Family Carers to date. There are over 161,000 Carers in Ireland who collectively contribute EUR2.5 billion to the national economy each year. Family Carers are dedicated people at all levels of society who care in the home for older people, people of all ages with disabilities and those with long term illness. Their role may involve a 24-hour-day seven-day-week commitment without respite and often lacking sustainable help or support."

"Potentially, we may all be required to provide care for a family member at some stage in our lives. Yet, ultimately, we will all need care", she concluded.

For more on the Caring for Carers Ireland 19th Annual Respite Weekend and Conference see


Notes to Editor:
- Available Interviewees: Mary McMahon, CEO, Caring for Carers Ireland (086 2469 764); Pat Shannon, HOS, Caring for Carers Ireland (087 9201119); Brigid Barron Innovation and Programme Manager, Caring for Carers Ireland (086 6011317); and Prof. Joyce O’Connor Patron, Caring for Carers Ireland (087 2577436)
- Further information is available from Mark Dunphy of Dunphy PR on 086-8534900 or
- Caring for Carers Ireland - Caring for Carers Ireland promotes the Health, Wellbeing and Quality of life of Family Carers and those for whom they care by promoting recognition, providing respite care, information, training and advocacy to promote Social Inclusion, within the context of The Carers' Charter. The Caring for Carers Ireland Headquarters is located in Ennis, Co Clare.

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