Ballymahon's Marie Dalton scoops Carer of the Year award

Ballymahon's Marie Dalton scoops Carer of the Year award

Marie Dalton from Ballymahon has become this year's Longford Carer of the Year. 

The 81-year-old was bestowed with the accolade during a ceremony at Skelly's in Ballymahon last Friday morning. 

Ms Dalton has cared for her husband Pat (85) for the last 20 years. 

He became diabetic and lost his sight. 

Speaking to the Leader, the Longford Carer of the Year said she was honoured to receive the award. 

"I married Pat for better and for worse," she added. 

"I just take care of him every day and am very grateful that nothing has happened to him."

“You just get on with it and hope every day that he will be okay.” 

Meanwhile, Denise Nolan is the area manager with Family Carers Ireland in Longford/Westmeath. 

There are over 4,900 carers across the two counties saving the Government tens of thousands of euro each year.  

Ms Nolan presented Marie Dalton from Ballymahon with her award after she was announced as the Longford Carer of Year last Friday in the south Longford town.  

 Ms Nolan says that full time carers like Marie get  little recognition for the outstanding work that they do.  

She also pointed out that the Carer of the Year awards provided an opportunity for Family Carers Ireland to say thank you to the thousands of carers across the country who provide a vital service to loved ones and to the communities in which they live.  

 The organisation also provides services and supports to family carers across the nation.  

“Marie has cared for her husband Pat for 20 years now,” said Ms Nolan before pointing out that the full time carer had received “very little” recognition for all the care that she provided to her husband throughout that time. 

“A lot of the time family carers provide this 24/7 care and it just becomes part of their life,” she added.  

“These awards are an opportunity to say thank you to them and to show our appreciation for the care they do provide on a daily basis.” 

Caroline Poole, Regional Manager, Family Carers Ireland also spoke on the day. 

She said that family carers provided huge support and saved the State billions every year. 

“Its vital for us to be there so that we can provide all the support and services that family carers need,” she added. 

“Family carers suffer more with back injuries and ill health because of the type of work they do every day - so we try and respond to their needs.

“For as long as you have marvellous people taking care of their loved ones, people will be able to stay in their own homes for as long as is possible.”

Next week, the Longford Leader speaks to Marie Dalton at length.