Carers in the ME Community
Carers provide crucial supports to people living with ME in Ireland.
The range of supports that carers provide for loved ones include nursing and personal care at home, supporting them emotionally or dealing with practical matters such as housework, medical appointments & shopping.
A carer could be a family member, partner, friend, or neighbour. There is often a very special bond between carers and patients.
Some useful links for Carers of those with ME in Ireland
• Carers Support from the HSE - Whats Available here
• Facebook pages for Carers of People with ME
As a carer you are required to function at a very high, very skilled level, able to quickly respond in the right way. It is important to be supported with the expert knowledge of other carers. Here’s a link to a Facebook group who provide that support:
Family Carer Online Support Group Ireland here
• Information on Caring from Greg Crowhurst’s blog, Stonebird
• Other useful pages for Carers of people with ME
25% M.E. Group Carers Resources here
From Solve ME/CFS 'For Those Who Care About someone with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) here
• Remember to Take Care of Yourself.
As a caregiver, it is important to take care of yourself even as you dedicate yourself to helping your loved one with ME. Get plenty of sleep, eat well, exercise and spend time socializing or doing activities that make you happy apart from your caregiver role.
Don’t neglect your own health. Consider seeking professional help to better learn how to deal with the different emotions that may arise, and how to communicate your feelings and needs with those around you.
Try very hard to have moments each day in which you are not thinking about your caregiving role or the disease, moments of enjoyment, joy, escape. Read a book, have coffee with a friend, take a walk.
Notes for Caregivers including how to take care of yourself from American ME and CFS Society (ammes) here
As a carer you may qualify for direct payments in your own right, a payment that can be used to help you sustain your caring role, e.g. Carers Allowance
Carer's Allowance is a payment to people on low incomes who are looking after a person who needs support because of age, disability or illness.
See links below for information and how to apply for Carers Allowance
From Citizens Information: link here
From HSE: link here
Carers Support Grant
Carers Support Grant is an annual payment made to carers by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, see more about the grant from Citizens Information here
Family Carers Ireland
Family Carers Ireland run Carers Support Group meetings from their Centres and service bases around the country.
Support Groups allow Carers to:
Share their experiences, feelings, ideas, concerns, information and problems.
Feel a reduced sense of isolation
Have a sense of connection with other family carers in similar circumstances
Have a break from the caring situation
Have hope for the future
Let off steam
Learn from other carers
Cope from day to day
Carers can share coping strategies and local information as well as offer emotional support and develop enduring friendships through support groups.
Mutual support groups provide a valuable opportunity to meet Carers in the same position to share their experiences.
For example, support groups for parents with children with special needs can discuss issues specifically related to their caring situations such as dealing with difficult and challenging behaviour, high dependency issues etc.
Support groups allow family carers to access information on their rights and entitlements. Guest speakers are invited to meetings to address carers on issues of interest to them such as Public Health Nurses, HSE representatives and Social Welfare representatives. Contact your local Carers Resource Centre for details on support groups
National Freephone Careline 1800 24 07 24
www.familycarers.ie - here
email: - email@example.com
Checklist for Carers - links provided by Citizens Information to help you to check out all the main services and entitlements for carers here
If you are a young person and you look after someone who has long term illness, disability you can get in contact for support by calling 057-9370208 a line that is there to help and support Young Carers.
Or if you would like to chat to someone about your caring role, or would like advice or a listening ear then please call our:
National Freephone Careline on 1800 24 07 24
For more information on Supports and Events taking place is your area, be sure to visit the website: www.youngcarers.ie or here