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Caring Hands Support Program for Carers - Ireland

  • Published: 2010-10-22 : Author: Caring Hands
  • Synopsis: Caring Hands is a support program for carers of people with arthritis in Ireland.

Caring Hands Are Not Alone - new support program for carers of people with arthritis - Arthritis Ireland and Home Instead Senior Care Support Program for Carers.

There's good news for the 160,000 carers in Ireland in the form of Caring Hands, a new support program for carers of people with arthritis - the single biggest cause of disability in Ireland. Caring Hands has been developed by Arthritis Ireland in association with Home Instead Senior Care to help carers learn about arthritis, understand more about its symptoms and realize how they can support someone with arthritis to live a full and independent life.

By participating in a free half day workshop, carers will learn about arthritis, what the 'pain cycle' is and how to break it, the importance of exercise, and the benefits of relaxation methods. They will also receive some practical tips on improving communications between the carer and the person being cared for, as well as information on treatments for arthritis, and how to identify medical priorities. Ultimately, and most importantly they will learn about self management and how to provide help and assistance while enabling the person with arthritis maintain as much mobility, independence and control over their life as possible.

The workshops are practical and informative, and delivered in a relaxed and informal environment. As such, participants can meet with and learn from others who are caring for those with arthritis. Each workshop is delivered by a team comprised of a trained Home Instead employee and a person living with arthritis. This ensures that the knowledge received is truly valid in the home care setting. All participants will receive a full Carers Pack to take home which can be referred to time and again. These workshops will take place in 17 locations nationwide over the next 12 months. Early registration is essential as these workshops are likely to prove extremely popular.

Arthritis Ireland is the only national charity working towards a future where everyone with arthritis and those caring for them are empowered to take positive action to manage the effects of arthritis on their lives. According to Grainne O'Leary Head of Education and Support Services with Arthritis Ireland, many people see their carer's role as just part of what they do as a wife, husband, brother, sister, son or daughter. However, the value of their contribution should not be underestimated, and the role that they play individually and collectively is significant.

"We provide practical information and support to a large number of carers of people with arthritis through the National Arthritis Helpline. Consequently, we identified a need for some additional hands on supports tailored to the specific and particular needs of those caring for people with arthritis. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Home Instead Senior Care to address these needs and to support the work of our national helpline in the provision of support to carers of people with arthritis.

Home Instead Senior Care works to help families keep their aging loved ones in their homes as they grow older. Their caregivers provide home care help to seniors and their families who desire assistance with activities that are not as easy as they used to be for many of Ireland's seniors. "With almost half of our clients affected by arthritic diseases we feel it is important to train carers in arthritis management. At Home Instead Senior Care are committed to improving the quality of life and overall wellbeing of seniors and believe that arthritis training will help more seniors in the local community improve or modify their condition", said Ed Murphy, Chief Executive of Home Instead Senior Care.

To mark the launch of this pioneering program, Arthritis Ireland and Home Instead Senior Care have developed an information booklet 'Caring Hands: Caring for A Person with Arthritis' which is available free of charge from Arthritis Ireland. To request a copy of the booklet, to register for the Caring Hands Workshop or to speak to someone about caring for a person with arthritis contact Arthritis Ireland's National Arthritis Helpline on LoCall 1890 252 846 or visit

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