Family carers should be included in Covid bonus

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Limerick Family Carers branch manager Jean Ryan with Una Quish Limerick Carer of the Year 2021.

THE manager of the Limerick branch of Family Carers Ireland has weighed in with the organisation’s call to extend the €1,000 thank you bonus for frontline pandemic staff to family carers.

Jean Ryan told the Limerick Post that family carers are yet again being left out despite the fact they “save the state millions every year by looking after their loved ones at home”.

“Family carers always seem to be sidelined. It’s ridiculous to say that they should not be recognised along with other frontline carers. It’s as if they are just forgotten about.”

Jean believes the money could be attached to each family carer’s annual payment of €1,850, “which is usually spent on paying for nursing home care so that the carer can get a break. That amount wouldn’t get you two weeks in a nursing home if a carer wants to get away”.

Family Carers Ireland has called on the government to extend the €1,000 Covid bonus to all full time family carers.

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Limerick Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan said family carers “deserve particular recognition for all the additional work they have undertaken in the past two years in very difficult circumstances”.

He continued: “Many family carers were left feeling isolated and abandoned by the government during the pandemic. Practically all supports were withdrawn during the pandemic. Informal respite from other relatives was also cut off as family members were forced to isolate. Family carers were also not considered for PPE provision or vaccine prioritisation.”

“Family carers do not get the benefit of public holidays. Their role is 24/7. Therefore, they will not benefit from an additional day’s holiday this year. It is important that they receive this payment, in recognition of their work.

“The government must give family carers the recognition they deserve. I am calling on the government and Minister McGrath to do the right thing and reconsider their exclusion,” concluded Deputy Quinlivan.