Blackspot – family carers in Kilkenny not getting the support services they need
By COLIN BARTLEY
KILKENNY is “blackspot” when it comes to the delivery of services to support family carers.
New research from Family Carer’s Ireland(FCI) shows a ‘postcode lottery’ exists for supports and services in the community for family carers.
Kilkenny, along with neighbouring Waterford, is one of the areas most affected, due to a lack of medical professionals employed in the area and the number of home care hours available for those aged over 65.
FCI’s research states where you live determines what supports you can or cannot access. FCI is calling for a €110 million increase in the home supports allocation in Budget 2020.
The research, released today, says due to the shortcomings, the Government’s aim of delivering the majority of care at or closer to home (Sláintecare) is being completely undermined.
The report also highlights huge inconsistencies around Kilkenny in the supply of the medical professionals family carers rely on including GPs, community and public health nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, counsellors and psychologists.
Reacting to the findings, Family Carers Ireland’s Head of Communications and Carer Engagement, Catherine Cox said: “We have urgently called on Government to address the postcode lottery that exists for supports and services in the community for family carers by implementing our Carers Guarantee proposal which would provide access to vital supports (including emergency respite) in the community.
“The situation has gotten worse for carers in Ireland over the past 10 years – carers’ health, both physical and mental, has deteriorated as has access to respite, home care, and vital therapies”.