One in five carers find role ‘soul destroying’, survey finds

www.examiner.ie  Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Evelyn Ring, Cork Examiner

HUGE gaps in care services for people with dementia are leaving an army of carers at breaking point, with one in five describing their role as “soul destroying”.

Revealing the findings of a survey, the Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI) has called on the Government to make dementia an immediate national health priority and prevent a deepening crisis from developing further.

There are 44,000 people with dementia in Ireland, but the number is expected to more than double to 104,000 by 2036.

The findings of the survey include:

* Three out of four carers care for loved ones more than eight hours a day, half spending 16 hours or more.

* One in three rarely or never get a break from caring, with one in 20 feeling completely alone in caring for their loved one.

* One in six people with dementia currently live on their own.

ASI chief executive Maurice O’Connell said people want to support their loved ones to live at home for as long as possible, but that excessive care needs and a lack of support meant many could no longer provide the best possible care.

“Over 20% of those surveyed found caring for their loved one soul destroying. The survey results show that the Government is failing to do enough to support carers and people living with dementia. This problem will not go away. We cannot wait until the current economic crisis is over,” said Mr O’Connell.

RTÉ’s Prime Time Investigates, which reported on the crisis last night, collaborated with the charity to commission a survey of almost 700 carers.

It found one in five carers spent more than two years getting a diagnosis for a loved one with dementia. One in 10 claimed their loved one had never been diagnosed with dementia.

Bluebird Care Dublin South East – New Location & Training Facility

Bluebird Care Dublin South East have recently moved offices and are now based at 67 Patrick St. in Dun Laoghaire.  The Dublin South East office which also covers North Wicklow had previously been based in Killiney, but due to a significant increase in recent months in the number of customers receiving home care in the area and a need for improved on site training facilities for their growing team of Carers, a new premises was sought resulting in their new location in Dun Laoghaire.

Care Manager Kim Butler said `as our business has continued to grow, we felt the need to move to a larger premises, and our new combined office and training facility in Dun Laoghaire has received very favourable comments from both our Carers and from our customers and their families that have visited us since we moved two weeks ago. This move will assist us in continuing to grow and to expand upon the services we offer in the local community and to build upon the excellent reputation we have established to date by providing home care on a level and in a manner that we would expect our own family members to receive.`

Home help cuts criticised

www.irishtimes.com – Friday, May 7, 2010

IRISH TIMES REPORTERS

Advocacy group Age Action Ireland has called for an urgent review of HSE draft guidelines which propose to severely restrict home help services.The proposals state carers will able to spend no more than 10 minutes getting older people up and dressed in the morning and 15 minutes assisting them showering. They are designed to cut down on the cost of home-help services.

Under the plan, now in draft form, the number of home help hours a patient will be entitled to will also be cut to a maximum of 7.5 a week, which can only be availed of Monday to Friday during office hours. The service would be restricted to medical card holders and home helps would be restricted to providing personal care for clients rather than also helping with house cleaning.Age Action said such reductions would see the service fall short of what was needed by older people dependend on it if they chose to remain living in their own homes. “If the service is inadequately resourced, and is then restructured to operate without sufficient funding and personnel, it will result in a service which poses a threat to the well being of the very people it sets out to protect,” spokesman Eamonn Timmins said.

Delegates attending the annual conference of the Irish Nurses and Midwives’ Organisation in Trim yesterday condemned the move.

Bluebird Care Dublin North – HSE Nutrition Course

Paul O’Reilly and Ken Shannon from Bluebird Care Dublin North attended the HSE Nutrition Course in All Hallows College. The course focused on nutrition for older people and included many practical situations and workshops. The course was extremely beneficial particularly when considering those with swallowing issues.

Many thanks to Helga Gerlitz, Senior Dietitian for Older Persons, HSE Area 6 .