Guidance for Carers urgently needed during COVID19 crisis – Butler

Published on: 31 March 2020

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Older People Mary Butler says the government needs to take steps to support and reassure carers during the COVID19 pandemic.

Deputy Butler says many carers who are looking after vulnerable loved ones are feeling abandoned and ignored, and she is calling on the government to ensure that they are properly protected and supported during this difficult time.

“Full time carers are finding the current situation extremely challenging. They are staying at home and adhering to the advice from the HSE without any relief or respite. Many are also very concerned about contracting or spreading the virus, especially when the person they are caring for is vulnerable”, she explained.

“There is a lot of confusion surrounding carers at the moment. There appears to be no guidelines in place to outline what happens to home support services if a person in the home has been diagnosed with Coronavirus, or what protocols should be adhered to if someone is displaying symptoms. I would like to see carers treated in the same way as health care workers so that testing can be fast-tracked if necessary.

“There is also a major issue with access to PPE for carers. I am hoping that this will be eased with the additional PPE coming into the country this week, but it is essential that carers are provided with hand sanitiser, gloves and aprons.

“The outbreak of COVID19 has made an already demanding role even more challenging. We need to ensure that all our carers – family and home helps – are supported as best they can be in this difficult time”.