Named in mid-October as the 2018 Westmeath CarePlus Carer of the Year, Ann Quinn from Ballynacargy was presented with her award at the national CarePlus Carer of the Year awards at The Westin Hotel in Dublin.
Each year Family Carers Ireland recognise Carers for the extraordinary hard work and dedication involved in caring for their loved ones every day, through these national awards.
Ann looks after her autistic son Sean who is 34. He also has epilepsy and asthma.
Ann rarely takes a break and has spent long periods of time in hospital with Sean, where at one point she nearly lost him. She is a great listener, never thinks of herself and has been credited by many for being such a wonderful carer.
Ann was one of 27 family carers from across Ireland who received their awards from broadcasters and patrons of Family Carers Ireland, Marty Whelan and Mary Kennedy.
Mrs Brown’s Boys stars Danny O’Carroll and Paddy Houlihan were also in attendance as ambassadors with the organisation.
According to a recent CSO Irish Health Survey, there are approximately 6,361 family carers in Westmeath providing on average 45 hours of care per week in their homes. Family Carers across Ireland save the state a staggering €10 billion each year. Today 1 in 10 people provide care for a loved one in the home - by 2030, demographic changes predict that one in five people will take on a caring role.
“We are delighted to recognise and celebrate carers in every county of Ireland for their Trojan work as family carers,” said Catherine Cox, head of communications and carer engagement with family carers Ireland.
“A huge congratulations to Ann who is now the Westmeath CarePlus Carer of the Year 2018. Family carers across Ireland make extraordinary sacrifices and work very hard, sometimes 24 hours a day, to provide care for their loved ones, safely, in their own homes. With limited access to services and particularly respite, carers in Westmeath are over-stretched and receive little acknowledgement for their unpaid work with three quarters receiving no payment from the state.”
Niamh Lynch, commercial director of CarePlus Pharmacy commented: “CarePlus Pharmacy is honoured to sponsor the Family Carer of the Year awards and recognise the tireless efforts of thousands of people across the country. Carers are the heart of every community and our pharmacy owners and staff meet them every day. We are enjoying working closely with Family Carers Ireland and supporting the awards throughout over fifty community pharmacies nationwide.”
This is the second year CarePlus Pharmacy has sponsored this event.