Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, a pioneering caregiving advocate, famously stated: "There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.”

There are 391,000 family carers in Ireland, who are, time and time again, going above and beyond for the person in their care. Ireland’s carers are under immense pressure and face new challenges daily during Covid-19.

A new platform being launched by Teva Ireland, Life Effects is a peer to peer support platform where carers share advice, insights, tips and technologies to help other carers who are on the same or similar journey.

In advance of Carers Week from 8-14th June, Life Effects shares a wonderfully emotive video that tells the story of John and Mary, a loving couple whose lives are altered when one of them falls ill and the other assumes the role of caregiver, leading to a new normal for both people. The short video beautifully illustrates the love and dedication a carer has for the person in their care.

John and Mary’s story is not unique. Every day carers go to extraordinary lengths, often unnoticed, to look after the people they love. These carers deserve to be recognised for the value they bring to their families, communities and society as a whole and their stories should be told.

Through Life Effects, carers and patients share their invaluable advice and insights from their own life experiences dealing with chronic conditions and provide support for those looking for advice or tips to help with their role as a caregiver. The ability to connect with other people who have previously, or are currently, going on a similar journey is powerful and can provide the comfort and reassurance a carer is looking for, and needs.

Through https://lifeeffects.teva/eu/caregivers those in a caregiving role can find short articles, tips and advice. Some examples of the content that a carer can find on Life Effects are; Marc Lawrence’s advice on ‘4 ways caregivers can adapt to the new normal of Covid-19’ , Suzanne White’s reflection on ‘What I wish I knew when I became a caregiver’, Ciara O’Rourke’s ‘6 tips for mental health and migraine during a global crisis’  and ‘10 ways to help a loved one with chronic illness’ by Sarah Bailey.

Yvonne Neeson, Senior Product Manager Generics at Teva Ireland: “We are extremely proud to bring Life Effects to Ireland. We understand the immense challenges carers are under every day, particularly in light of Covid-19. We salute carers across Ireland who sacrifice so much to make such a difference to the person in their care. We want to help make carers visible, to give them a voice – a platform to share tips, advice and support which is why Life Effects is very important. This new platform is a way for carers to get peer to peer support and take comfort in the knowledge that other carers are on a similar journey.”

Supporting the Life Effects campaign are Ailbhe and Izzy Keane, founders of Izzy Wheels, who are highlighting the amazing contribution carers make in the lives of people across Ireland every day. Izzy, who has Spina Bifida says that this Carers Week in particular with Covid-19 it’s important to mark and celebrate carers all over the country:

"This year's national Carers Week is arguably more important to mark and celebrate than ever before. Covid-19 has forced many people with disabilities, like me, to really reflect on the myriad of ways that we are cared for. In my case, my friends and family fill in the gaps of things I cannot do for myself, and this week I really want to make the effort to make sure that they are aware how grateful I am to them for that.”

“I am really lucky that Covid-19 has not forced me to adjust very much when it comes to who provides my care because luckily for me, I am living with my parents and therefore get to isolate with them. For many people with disabilities, COVID-19 and quarantine has meant that they have had to adjust to care being provided to them in new and different ways. Professional carers are not currently allowed to do home visits for people with disabilities as a result of quarantine rules and because of this, family members have had to step in, understandably so in the name of safety. It has been quite an adjustment for many with disabilities to get used to different people helping them with new tasks, and also an adjustment for many able-bodied family members helping their loved ones with a disability in ways which they never have before. It’s important to acknowledge the amazing and essential work being provided by carers all over the country and to guide them to helpful sources of advice and support from fellow carers, like Life Effects,” continued Izzy.

For more information about Life Effects and tips and advice visit https://lifeeffects.teva/eu/caregivers.

Carers Week runs from 8-14th June, recognising and celebrating these people who care for their loved ones all across the country. It aims to raise awareness of family carers in our community, to deliver online events for family carers across the country and engage family carers who are not yet availing of carer support services. For more information visit www.carersweek.ie

#MakingCaringVisible

  1. Care Alliance Ireland  - CSO, 2016a Updated per 2019 population figures) https://www.carealliance.ie/userfiles/files/Infographic%20Family%20caring%20in%202020%20Final.pdf