Free supports available to carers of stroke survivors

By June Shannon Stroke News   |   30th Jan 2020

The Irish Heart Foundation is pleased to offer a range of new supports for carers of people affected by stroke, including free counselling

Are you caring for someone who has had a stroke ? If so, who is caring for you?

Becoming a carer for someone with an illness such as stroke, is a huge undertaking physically, mentally and emotionally.

In recognition of the high demands placed on carers of people affected by stroke, the vast majority of whom have never received any formal training or support, the Irish Heart Foundation has recently launched a new range of services for carers of people affected by Stroke, which includes free counselling, free CPR and patient moving courses, access to a Facebook support group and a carers’ booklet. All of these are free of charge.

It is important that carers take care of their own mental and physical health so that they can have a reasonable quality of life, provide the care their loved ones need and can cope with the demands of life as a carer.

The new supports being made available by the Irish Heart Foundation include up to six, one-hour sessions with a registered local counsellor. Professional counselling is an opportunity to share worries and frustrations in a confidential manner, get advice and learn about practical tools to help you cope as a carer.

The package of supports also includes free one-day training courses in patient handling. With this course carers will learn how to safely lift or help their loved one to move from sitting to standing etc. Knowing how to safely lift someone with a disability or help them move between positions is essential training which the Irish Heart Foundation is happy to provide as part of its new carer support package.

" We are delighted that thanks to a grant from the Dormant Accounts Fund, we can now support carers who are all too often forgotten, to help them cope in their role as a carer and to guide them in looking after their own physical and mental health,”

Tracy Egan, Patient Support Manager, The Irish Heart Foundation

Carers of people affected by stroke will also be offered free CPR training and membership of a private Irish Heart Foundation Facebook page for carers; a private forum for carers to share their experiences and support each other.

Also, on offer is a free information booklet. The new booklet entitled “Caring for someone affected by stroke,” includes information on stroke and how it may affect your loved one, tips on caring for someone close to you who is affected by stroke and yourself, practical matters, benefits and legal questions, how to look after yourself, other carers, and family members and additional resources.

Commenting Ms Tracy Egan, Patient Support Manager Irish Heart Foundation said, “At the Irish Heart Foundation, our stroke patient services are focussed on providing support to stroke survivors, we have never been in a position to provide any support to carers. The funding allows us to provide counselling services, training and information for carers to help people cope a bit better and look after themselves.”

We are delighted that thanks to a grant from the Dormant Accounts Fund, we can now support carers who are all too often forgotten, to help them cope in their role as a carer and to guide them in looking after their own physical and mental health,” Tracy added.

These services are available until June 2020 and are possible due to a grant from the Dormant Accounts Fund. Services will be provided on a “first come, first served” basis within the limits of available funding. The free professional counselling is available until June 2020 for a limited number of carers nationwide.

If you would like to find out more about this service and the supports available to carers of people affected by stroke please email carers@irishheart.ie or contact the Irish Heart Foundation on Tel: 01 6685001.

You can download a copy “ Caring for someone affected by stroke,” a free information booklet here.

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