Recognising the Value of Care in Ireland

6th Annual Carers Week Celebrates Ireland’s 247,000 Carers

Marking 2012 Carers Week, Bluebird Care has acknowledged the work done by Ireland’s 247,000 carers.

The value of Ireland’s carers cannot be overstated,” says Eddie O’Toole, Operations Director with Bluebird Care.

Carers in Ireland provide the equivalent of €2.5 billion in unpaid care every year with this figure projected to grow to over €3 billion by 2021. The figures provided by the Carers Association suggest that in order to manage the current carer to disabled population ratios, Ireland will need an additional 44,829 carers by 2021,” he says.

Entering the Irish market five years ago, Bluebird Care who now have 18 offices nationwide, use best practice care given their business model was born in the UK where stringent care legislation is in place.

Recognising the value of the home carer, Bluebird Care sees itself as adding significant value to the caring sector. Eddie O’Tools says, “there’s evidence-based research which confirms that disabled, unwell, elderly and rehabilitating individuals recuperate much better at home than in hospital. Ireland has a massive ‘caring culture’ and the stark figures by the Carer’s Association demonstrate the demand for private care, which can help offset the length of stay in Irish hospitals.

Bluebird Care is a nationwide network of expert carers who give daily respite, personal care and support to a growing and ageing population. Given the growth in our population preventative and rehabilitative health care will become even more important,” he added.

The work undertaken by the expert Bluebird Care team means that people of all ages can be assisted to remain in the safety, security and comfort of their own home.

At national level, a senior team oversees strategy, policy and common procedures, however each branch of the company is owner managed so customers receive a tailored local service.

Varying circumstances result in many family carers having to adopt a life-changing role untrained and under-supported, while juggling full-times jobs, families, personal and social commitments.

Bluebird Care Operations Manager Eddie O’Toole says, “the vital work of the family carer often goes unrecognised and under-supported. Although very rewarding, their caring role is constant and being on 24 hour call can be physically, mentally and emotionally draining. The staff at Bluebird Care work with patients and their families to offer, help, support, relief and even the smallest comforts as having a cup of tea and time-out is invaluable to the family carer.”

National Carers Week is a fantastic initiative to celebrate the dedication and commitment of family carers throughout Ireland, a time to acknowledge the great work they do and to say ‘Thank You’ for being there every day.”


About National Carers Week

National Carers Week June 18th-24th, now in its sixth year, is pioneered by Care Alliance Ireland in partnership with eight other leading Irish charities including the Alzheimer Society, The Disability Federation, The Carers Association, Caring for Carers, Bri, MS Ireland, Headway and The Irish Hospice Foundation.

Through a series of 150 national, regional and local events the aim of the week is to recognise and to acknowledge the phenomenal work and commitment of family carers throughout Ireland who spend endless hours every day, every week, every month caring for elderly loved ones, loved ones with disabilities, terminal illnesses and special needs.

Ireland’s 274,000 family carers are more often than not immediate family members who have changed their lives to provide very high levels of care to ensure their loved on remains at home and many do not avail of carer support services available.

More information on

Bluebird Care in Age Action’s 20th Anniversary Publication

Bluebird Care has been featured in Age Actions 20th Anniversary commemorative newsletter, published today.

The publication looks back at some of the highlights of Age Action’s first 20 years. Bluebird Care is a sponsor of Age Action and has been involved in their Tea Party series this year which promotes and celebrates positive ageing, along with other key activities.
Other articles in this edition include:

  •  “We have often been criticised for doing too much, but never for doing too little,” Chief Executive Robin Webster reflects;
  • Ireland is not an ageing society; it is an increasingly normal society, where people are enjoying a normal lifespan, leading UK expert on ageing policy Eric Midwinter writes;
  •  Age Action has succeeded in changing public attitudes towards ageing, according to Age Action member and former Head of Information, Paul Murray;
  •  Policy officer Lorna Roe looks at the major developments in our health and care services for older people over the last two decades, but notes that more has to be done before Ireland has an age-friendly health system.

You can read the Age Action Anniversary Newsletter here.

Celebrating Caring & Positive Ageing in Mayo & Sligo

Bluebird Care Announces Mayo Carer of the Year at Age Action Tea Party 

Active Retirement members from across counties Mayo and Sligo were treated to High Tea sponsored by Bluebird Care recently, as part of the nationwide Age Action Tea Party season.

220 people packed the Mount Falcon Hotel in Ballina with afternoon tea and music provided by Sandy Kelly, Patrick Feeney and local Ballina talent Alan McGinty.

Eamon Timmins, CEO of Age Action says, “to celebrate our 20th birthday we are organising a series of Tea Parties around the country to honour and acknowledge our elder members of society. Sponsored by Bluebird Care, the events are proving a huge success and help foster a strong sense of community belonging and positive ageing.”

Kevin McMorrow, Director of Bluebird Care Mayo and Sligo says the Tea Party series is one which complements the Bluebird Care corporate social responsibility ethos.

“The nature of our work means that we are constantly enagaging with older people and their families and their sense of spirit and contribution to society should be celebrated. We are delighted to promote and support the nationwide series of Age Action Tea Parties and in fact are using the opportunity to showcase our shining lights who help make a difference to the lives of elderly people in our community.”

Ashley Cox from Sligo Town was honoured with the accolade of 2012 Bluebird Carer of the Year for Mayo and Sligo. She will now represent her region in the national Bluebird Carer of the Year awards to take place in Dublin in December.

Speaking this week Ashley said she was thrilled to be chosen for the award. “We consider our role as a vocation at Bluebird Care. I really love my job, and it’s the people I meet on a daily basis that make it worthwhile. I think they are real heroes.”

Ashley was nominated for the award by her colleagues because of her dedication to her job, her attitude to the role and considering her popularity with her clients.