More needs done to support older carers - Gildernew
Speaking at the Marie Curie carers event at Stormont Sinn Féin spokesperson for carers Colm Gildernew MLA said more needs to be done to support carers particularly older carers.
Colm Gildernew said:
“Older carers make a significant contribution to the health service here in the north, providing over £1 billion of unpaid care in 2012. That is coincidentally almost the same amount as the £1.04 billion which is allocated to social care from the health budget currently.
“This contribution comes at a cost, older carers generally experience worse health outcomes than their young peers and end of life carers, who are predominantly older often suffer from high levels of anxiety, depression and general distress.
“There is also a very significant and growing problem with social isolation.
“Research has demonstrated that older people don’t have access to appropriate information and are often reluctant to take up Carer’s Assessments or indeed at times to accept any help or support at all.
“There remains a continuing consensus across the political parties on health issues and the need to transform our health and social care system.
“It is clear that there needs to be a rebalance within the Health & Social Care system so that the ‘social’ aspect is valued as well as the health aspect.
“It is for this reason that Sinn Fein support the Marie Curie campaign to change the current restrictive criteria associated with entitlement to PIP when claiming under special benefit rules for people with a terminal illness and base entitlement instead on clinical need."