EAST Londonderry MLA Claire Sugden has spoken of her admiration for Northern Ireland’s “compassionate and dedicated” carers as Carers Week 2020 is held this week.
It was a week in which the vital, but often overlooked, work of carers should be recognised and appreciated, Ms Sugden said. It should also act as a catalyst to improve government support as we emerge from COVID-19.
“Many carers are family members, often with their own medical issues, and support needs to continue and improve,” said the MLA.
“In addition, lots of people care for family members because they couldn’t imagine not doing so. But this can sometimes mean they are not recognised as carers. These people must be supported because it brings additional challenges to their already busy lives.
“The compassion and dedication with which carers perform their roles is truly admirable and they deserve our thanks and support.”
Carers had seen a reduction in support such as respite care and adult day care centres because of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, she said. This made the role all the more intensive, and the work even more vital.
“As we start our recovery, the government should give all assistance possible to carers – who, through their dedication, save the government money by keeping people out of care homes. They also enable their friends and family to continue living in the community,” Ms Sugden said.
Those caring for people in rural areas were also particularly affected.
Carers Week 2020 runs from June 8 to June 14.