Source: Social Democratic and Labour Party of Northern Ireland
Today, East Derry MLA John Dallat attended the seminar on Health and Wellbeing among older carers in Northern Ireland. Following the event, Mr Dallat said that it is disgraceful that there is no functioning Assembly or Executive to pass legislation to bring about regulation and a Carers Charter. The number over carers over 65 in Northern Ireland is continuing to rise, growing at five times the rate of those aged under-65 between the census in 2001 and the census in 2011.
“With 32,000 carers over the age of 65 and 81% working more than 70 hours per week, it is unacceptable that a stand-off between the DUP and Sinn Fein can justify ignoring the crisis in our health service and in particular, those issues affecting carers.
“Apart from the serious shortcomings in diagnosing illnesses at an early stage and providing treatment, there are many other issues which impact on our ageing population and their carers. Carers, and older carers, deserve a huge amount of recognition for the work they do and the sacrifices that they make to look after their loved ones.
“In addition to physical illnesses and the deteriorating situation in relation to mental health, again impacting on loved ones who care day and daily, there are also financial issues. Financial problems leave older people cutting back on food and heat with an alarming worried about saving and setting money aside for emergencies.
“Today’s event at Stormont, organised by Marie Curie should remind all MLAs from all parties about what is at stake during this political impasse. It is imperative that we have functioning institutions to pass legislation to bring about regulation and a Carers Charter.”