Mayo carers give 161,000 unpaid hours weekly

Carers in Mayo give more than 161,000 hours unpaid care to the county’s sick, elderly and vulnerable each week. Of Mayo’s 6,558 carers, 40.5 per cent regularly work a minimum of one to 14 hours a week, whilst a further 50 per cent work between 15 and 43 hours a week.

To highlight the work of carers in Mayo, the Irish Red Cross is calling for nominations for the 2014 Carer of the Year awards. The award is open to any member of the public currently providing voluntary care. Four regional winners will be selected before the announcement of the national winner, in October. The 2014 national winner will receive a relaxing hotel break for two and a cash prize.

Donal Forde, Irish Red Cross secretary general, praised Mayo’s carers saying: “Any one of us could find ourselves in need of care assistance, either for ourselves or for a loved one. We must continue to support our carers in their roles and enable them to create a safe and comfortable environment for themselves and the care recipient.” As part of its Health and Social Care programme, the Irish Red Cross offers a range of resources and services for carers in Ireland. Services include a carers handbook, ‘Helping You to Care’ course, and therapeutic hand care services. Nomination forms for the Irish Red Cross 2014 Carer of the Year award are available from www.redcross.ie/carer2014 and should be returned no later than Friday, September 5.

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