Joan Burton just does not understand what a carers respite break is. 77,000 carers are literally dead on their feet from tiredness due to long hours caring for their loved ones.
Carers provide care on a 24 hour basis 7 days a week 365 days a year. They need to have breaks to rest and to preserve their mental well being.
Many carers live under a great mental strain caring for people with dementia, mental retardation which is very wearing and tiring.
Reducing respite grant assistance amounts to cutting their respite break, as the costs of respite care have not fallen and many HSE respite services are withdrawn by the HSE.
It would seem reasonable for say 1200 carers to drop their patients into casualty departments on Monday each week to obtain a weeks respite break. That way the 77,000 carers could get a break for a week of the year?
The impact on the HSE's 10,000 public bed spaces in the Hospital network would effectively freeze the operation of the hospital system!