Family Carers Ireland launch online ‘Carers Coffee Club’

 Social outlet, guidance and support during COVID-19

Family Carers Ireland has launched its ‘Carers’ Coffee Club’ an online resource for family carers to get together via Facebook Live. The ‘Club’ will have guest health care professionals and experts providing online support, advice and guidance to family carers during the pandemic. The organisation is inviting family carers and others to submit their questions online which the expert guests will address in the coming weeks.

The first ‘Carers Coffee Club’ will take place on Thursday, April 2nd at 11am with guest, Dr Tony Foley, a GP and lecturer in the Department of General Practice in UCC, who will answer questions on COVID-19 from a GP’s perspective. To join the conversation visit Family Cares Ireland Facebook page and submit your questions then visit the page on Thursdays at 11am.

Many family cares report feeling isolated in their role caring for a loved one. During the emergency, this group of vulnerable people are further cut-off from society and many have lost the small bit of assistance they had from homecare workers, support centres and public health workers. The ‘Carer’s Coffee Club’ is to provide a social outlet for family carers who are under tremendous pressure and to help offer guidance for how to respond to COVID-19.

Catherine Cox, Head of Communications and Carer Engagement with Family Carers Ireland said,

“The Carers Coffee Club is a chance for family carers to make themselves a cup of tea and join us for a chat. We will offer expert advice, guidance and answer some of the questions that have been weighing on them. Family Carers prop up the health care service with their selfless care of a sick or infirm loved-one all year round and now more than ever it is vital that we as a society do everything possible to support them to remain caring safely in their homes and relieve the pressure on Irish health care system.”

Given the unprecedented pressure on our hospitals due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Family Carers Ireland’s priority is to support as many people as possible remaining in the care of their loved ones at home. The organisation has already developed and published an Emergency Care Plan for family carers which provides vital information for the care of their loved in the event of an emergency such as Covid-19. The organisation is now urging the HSE to present a clear protocol on how the health service will deal with family carers specifically, and their cared-for person, should they contract COVID-19.

Family Carers Ireland is the national charity supporting and advocating on behalf the 355,000 family carers across the country who care for loved ones such as children or adults with physical or intellectual disabilities, frail older people, the terminally ill or those suffering from chronic illnesses or addiction. It provides a range of services and supports for family carers through its 22 resource centres nationwide and through our National Freephone Careline 1800 240724. For more see familycarers.ie