Family Carers – Unsung Heroes

The conductor, David Brophy’s Unsung Heroes aired on RTE this month (June 2020) and was a moving and perhaps shocking insight for some to the daily life of some of our most valuable, hidden, humble, stoic, loving and hardworking citizens of this country. It is Carers who carry the majority of the caring responsibility and workload, not professionals or the social care system.

Due to the impact of Coronavirus-19, many Day services and Respite facilities have been closed since March. The amount of hours dedicated to the caring role became 24/7 and there is now a growing risk of reaching crisis point and burn-out.

How Counselling and Psychotherapy can help

Caring for a loved one with a disability or illness and caring for oneself should go hand–in-hand. Supporting Carers through counselling is a valuable and necessary resource. However the free services available are subject to funding limitations but can the Carer’s role have limitations?

Counselling can offer a turning point in the life of a Carer. From just daily surviving, coping with depression, anxiety, feelings of hopelessness to regaining a sense of perspective, self-awareness, self-care and empowerment. Therapy offers a supportive, safe, non-judgemental confidential environment where Carers can express feelings without any fear or anxiety of a negative impact on the person being cared for. Carers regularly put other people’s needs ahead of their own, Counselling offers the space and time to focus on their wellbeing, aspirations and needs. Counselling for Carers with compassion fatigue can help prioritise wellness and reduce stress. It offers an emotional release that is so essential for the Carer.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Person-Centred, Sensorimotor and mindfulness are some of the therapeutic approaches.

Recent Research

….” Research carried out by Family Carers Ireland reveals that the Covid-19 crisis has had a major impact on the lives of 355,000+ family Carers”

According to the survey Carers are concerned about the deterioration of their own health and wellbeing, as well as the increase in challenging behaviours being experienced by their loved ones. This vulnerable, resilient and truly inspiring group of people need Support and fast. Throughout this pandemic our country has shown how the government with the resources of the state, the healthcare system, the garda siochana etc. can work collaboratively and efficiently to “defend” the public health of the nation.  It is well documented about the millions of euros saved to the state and the Irish people by these “Unsung Heroes”. Now let us show our appreciation and “defend” the health of the Carer by providing Services and Support.

About Donna

Donna McArdle is a psychotherapist with Mind and Body Works, based in our Donnybrook centre.  She has a keen interest in the experiences and challenges of the family carers in our society.

Please contact Donna on 085 853 858 if you would like to set up an appointment with her.

Contact the Author of This Article

If you would like to get in touch with the author please click below and send a quick email.