‘Guardian angel’ Teresa is 2018 Kilkenny Carer of the Year
A DEDICATED mother who has cared for her severely autistic son for almost 30 years has been named as the 2018 Kilkenny CarePlus Carer of the Year.
Teresa Hayes, from Brownstown, provides around-the-clock care for her son Eric, who is 29.
Teresa (61) is the sole carer since her husband died two years after battling cancer.
During this difficult period, Teresa (pictured above with her daughter Rosey and friend Geraldine Morrissey) had to care for her husband and Eric alone while her daughters were studying away from home.
Her husband’s illness meant he often had to be in hospital in Dublin, meaning Teresa had to sacrifice spending time with him as she remained at home to care for Eric.
Teresa was nominated by her daughter Rosey, who describes her mother as Eric’s “guardian angel”.
Rosey said: “My Mam is not only a special carer, as all carers are, but she is a special human being. Growing up, I never believed in guardian angels, but in recent years I have come to believe my Mam is Eric’s guardian angel.”
The national CarePlus ‘Carer of the Year’ awards will take place on November 23 at the Westin Hotel in Dublin. The awards will be hosted by broadcasters Mary Kennedy and Marty Whelan, who are also patrons of the charity,
A CSO Irish Health Survey recently revealed there are approximately 7,854 family carers across Kilkenny providing an average of 45 hours of care per week in their homes.
Family Carers across Ireland save the State a staggering €10 billion each year, and today one-in-10 people provide care for a loved one in the home. It is predicted this figure will rise to one-in-five by 2030.
Catherine Cox, Head of Communications and Carer Engagement with Family Carers Ireland, paid tribute to carers across Kilkenny and the rest of the country for their selfless dedication.
“We are delighted to recognise and celebrate Carers in every county of Ireland for their trojan work as Family Carers. A huge congratulations to Teresa who is now the Kilkenny Careplus Carer of the Year 2018. Family Carers across Ireland make extraordinary sacrifices and work very hard, sometimes 24 hours a day, to provide care for their loved ones, safely, in their own homes,” she said.
“With limited access to services and particularly respite, carers in Kilkenny are over stretched and receive little acknowledgement for their unpaid work with three quarters receiving no payment from the State.”