The value of the work of family carers in Ireland can be seen in the fact that the work of the over 5,000 carers involved in Westmeath and Longford has been valued at over €60 million per year.
This point was made by Independent MEP Marian Harkin when she opened a Family Carers Health and Wellness Fair in Mullingar. The event was organised by Longford Westmeath Carers Association.
She said that family carers, because of the fact that they saved the state over €4 billion each year, deserved every support which should be reflected in government policy on an ongoing basis.
“In this regard there is no acceptable reason why the State does not include homecare in the Fair Deal Scheme and this step needs to be taken immediately in the interest of carers and those they care for”, she stressed.
The state owed carers a far better deal than that provided at present and inclusion in the Fair Deal Scheme would, at least, help to make life that bit better for carers and those they care for in the beneficial surroundings of their own homes, Marian Harkin said.
She praised the activities of the carers associations throughout Ireland who worked to support carers in continuing their dedicated work which enabled dependent loved ones to remain in the best possible place – their own home.