New report shows family carers expected to fill gaps in health and social care system, regardless of personal toll

“How can I keep doing this day after day? I’m so tired I feel like I’ll drive off the road… I’m afraid he will seriously hurt me. I need help for when he is aggressive—some sort of self-protection training.” – female, full-time carer for a child.

 Almost half of family carers regularly deal with abusive behaviour while a similar proportion say that no supports and services are available. These are just some of the findings of a new research report which examines family carers’ access to supports and services, how this can affect their health and the daily challenges they face including exposure to abusive behaviours.

Family Carers Ireland, in collaboration with the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland and UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems, today launched a new report titled Paying the Price: The Hidden Impacts of Caring. This is the second in a series of Paying the Price* reports and follows a nationwide health and wellbeing survey completed by 1,102 current family carers between November 2018 and January 2019. The survey is a repeat wave of a similar survey undertaken in 2009 and allows researchers to track changes in the health, wellbeing and burden of carers ten years later.

The report, launched at Family Carers Ireland’s National Carers’ Conference in The Hilton, Kilmainham, Dublin 8 shows that:

  • 44% of carers surveyed regularly deal with abusive behaviour
  • 70% of carers experiencing abuse as part of their caring role said their loved one did not have access to suitable respite
  • 76% of care recipients did not receive any home support hours
  • 74% of care recipients requiring 100+ hours of care per week had no access to home support hours
  • 49% of carers said that no supports and services were available
  • 79% of carers supporting children with care needs found it difficult to make ends meet
  • 25% of carers could not access supports and services due to distance and/or transport issues
  • 43% of carers said that supports and services were not disability, condition and/or age appropriate

Reacting to the findings, Family Carers Ireland’s Head of Communications and Carer Engagement, Catherine Cox said:

“This report shows the enormous price paid by the 355,000 family carers in Ireland who prop up the health system at great personal cost. Three quarters of care recipients did not receive any home support hours. The toll on the carers’ mental and physical health is enormous and it begs the question – how long can they continue without the supports that Family Carers Ireland has repeatedly demanded from Government?”

“Family carers save the State at least €10bn a year by caring for their loved ones at home. This study outlines the terrible price of this love.”

Key recommendations highlighted by Dr Nikki Dunne, Research Officer with Family Carers Ireland, include:

  • Recognise carers as victims of abuse – Further research and public discussion on the impact of physical and verbal abuse on family carers is key to recognising carers as victims of abuse and developing effective interventions to allow them to care safely.
  • Urgently address the homecare crisis and postcode lottery – Funding of €3.2 million per annum is required to support family carers and ensure that they are guaranteed access to a basket of supports and services regardless of where they live.
  • Address the transport needs of carers – Replace the Mobility Allowance and Motorised Transport Grant Schemes, withdrawn in 2013, with the long awaited Transport Support Scheme and widen the criteria of the Disabled Drivers and Passengers Scheme to include people with intellectual or cognitive impairments.
  • Abolish the In Loco Parentis rule – Organisations involved in supporting children and families are united in their call to end the in loco parentis rule and the unfair restrictions it places on the families of Ireland’s most vulnerable children.
  • Introduce practical approaches to protecting carers at risk of harm – Train healthcare professionals to identify and support carers, offer carers training, provide emergency respite care services, involve all agencies who play a role in safeguarding adults and children.

Full report available on


Spooky Surprise at Georgina Campbell’s ‘Family Friendly Hotel of the Year’

Recently named Georgina Campbell’s ‘Family Friendly Hotel of the Year’, Kilkenny’s Newpark Hotel has added a spooky surprise for residents to its Halloween Breaks.

New to the hotel this year, residents can enjoy a thrilling ride by night through the medieval streets of Kilkenny to learn of the mysterious vanishing witch, Alice Kyteler, and her assistant, Petronella, along with eerie tales of times gone by!

The hotel boasts so many activities for the whole family including the Newpark Adventure Trail, Tree-Top Adventure Playground with Zip Line, the Newpark Mini Wildlife Farm, on-site Go-Karting, the Newpark Fairy Trail, Newpark Adventure Fen Trail, a 2.5-mile nature walk, Indoor swimming pool, ‘The Zone’ games room and the Crazy Cats Kids Club.

For tiny-tots, a special playroom for under three’s and a parenting room equipped with a fridge, microwave, steriliser and baby changing facilities to make a family stay hassle free.

Adults can ‘Escape’ to the Health Club and Spa, which features a thermal suite, luxurious treatment rooms and a tranquil relaxation area that will leave them feeling de-stressed, rejuvenated & rebalanced.

Halloween Family Breaks

Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny have both 2 and 3 night packages available for the Halloween mid-term. Breaks start from just €199 per night based on a family of two adults and two children.

Halloween Family Breaks include:

  • Bed and full Irish breakfast for two adults and two children
  • Dinner on one evening for adults in Gulliver’s Restaurant and high-tea for children served in the Crazy Cats Kids Club.
  • The Crazy Cats Kids Club for 4 to 12-year-olds from 10am-4pm with lunch included.
  • Lots of Halloween themed activities throughout the week
  • The Newpark Adventure Fen Trail
  • The Newpark Tree Top Adventure Playground with Zipline
  • The Newpark Mini Wildlife Farm
  • Falconry Experience
  • Spa offer: spend over €65 on any treatment and receive a voucher for a €25 discount

All Guests enjoy complimentary use of our Escape Health Club with Thermal Suite & Infinity Pool during their stay. See for more.