A carer has issued an impassioned plea for better treatment, revealing that she is never offered respite care.
All this week, Lunchtime Live has heard from carers across the country who are struggling to cope and feel the system has let them down.
Carmel’s son was assaulted in London just before lockdown in 2020 and has an acquired brain injury.
“It was pretty traumatic,” she said.
“I didn’t get him home until June of that year - in the middle of COVID - and I had to fight to get everything he needed.”
Since then, her son has improved physically and his attacker has been jailed.
They are still waiting to see if they can obtain financial compensation because the injury has profoundly changed his life and Carmel’s.
“I’ll be 60 in November,” she said.
“I’ve raised four kids, I’ve been a lone parent, I put myself through college.
“I was trying to go back and do a masters, I had to pack that up to look after him - which is no problem.
“This is the thing about carers; we will do anything for [the people we care for].”
Carmel strongly believes carers in the community “do not get the recognition” they deserve and hears “horrific” stories all the time.
“There has to be funding available,” she said.
“People are being discriminated against, if you earn €10 or €20, you’re not getting a carer’s allowance.
“Some people don’t even bother applying for it.
“There has to be something.”
Earlier this week, Gayle Murphy told Lunchtime Live she was unable to attend her own mother’s funeral because no respite care was available.
It is something Carmel does not find hard to believe.
“I don’t get any respite,” she said.
“I’m fortunate in that I managed, eventually, due to the local tech engineering [firm, they] kindly gave my son a job under the Disability Scheme whereby the Government pay two-thirds of his wages.
“I’m very fortunate in… the supports I have in neighbours and friends and family.”
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Main image: Hands of a carer.