There is a significant increase in the number of older people acting as carers for loved ones and relatives according to Senator Robbie Gallagher. Senator Gallagher was speaking after new information was released from Census 2016 by the CSO.
“Between 2011 and 2016, there has been an 18.5% increase, from 24,746 to 29,311, in the number of people, aged 65 year or older, providing care for their loved ones. These people are fulfilling the role of the State in providing care to those living with illness or disability. Carers of any age need support but these older carers particularly need support themselves,” said Senator Gallagher.
“People over 65 years of age are providing some 1.43 million hours of care every week. This is an extra burden being placed on older people. Worse still, in the 85 years and up bracket, we have seen a massive 34% increase in the number of people providing care either to their spouse or to a sick son, daughter or relative.”
“These facts underline the need for home help hours, respite support, and better access to the Fair Deal scheme as the responsibility of providing care is increasingly being passed to spouses and older relatives,” he said.
“Carers step in when the State is unable to provide care and support. We have a responsibility to ensure that their needs are met and where possible, ensure that the State provides the services and supports both carers and loved ones need,” concluded Senator Gallagher.