Minister Kathleen Lynch launches the National Carers’ Strategy

Ms Kathleen Lynch, T.D., Minister of State for Disability, Equality, Mental Health and Older People, with the Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny T.D. and the Tánaiste, Mr Eamon Gilmore T.D., today (Thursday 19th July, 2012) launched the National Carers’ Strategy.

This Strategy is a sign of the Government’s commitment to carers by recognising and valuing their contribution, placing them firmly on the national agenda. It sets the strategic direction for future policies, services and supports provided by Government Departments and agencies for carers.

A key objective of Government policy for older people, children and adults with an illness or a disability is to support them to live in dignity and independence in their own homes for as long as is possible. Carers are vital to the achievement of this objective and are considered a backbone of care provision in Ireland.

While there are positive and rewarding aspects of caring, it can also be challenging and demanding physically and mentally and can require major adjustments to family and work life. As a result, the Programme for Government committed to developing a National Carers’ Strategy to support carers and to address issues of concern.

Welcoming the publication of the National Carers’ Strategy, Minister Lynch stated that “The publication of this Strategy sends a strong message to carers that Government recognises and values their selfless hard work and compassion, which enhances the health and quality of life of thousands on a daily basis”. She went on to say that all Government Departments and agencies that deal with carers in any of their functions must now take their lead from the Strategy and use it to inform their planning and policies in the future.

The Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny T.D., stated that “The publication of this Strategy marks a watershed moment in the State’s recognition of and support for carers, valuing their continued commitment and contribution to their families and to society”.

The Tánaiste, Mr Eamon Gilmore T.D., said "This publication of the National Carers’ Strategy places carers firmly on the national agenda. The Strategy will make a tangible difference to the lives of carers and recognises the important contribution that they make to the lives of so many people"

The National Carers’ Strategy will be publicly available on the Department of Health’s website, www.dohc.ie/publications/national_carers_strategy.html

ENDS

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