This is what Liveline, Ireland’s most popular phone-in show, posted today about carers:
Low wages, impossible travel requirements, no sick pay, no pension, no job security, zero hour contracts, stress, frustration, despair. These are the conditions carers are working under in Ireland today. One carer after another spoke to Joe about what they endure as they try to look after Ireland’s sick and elderly. All of them work for private companies paid by the HSE.
I texted in to let them know how this incredible situation affected those receiving care. Imagine: being cared for by somebody on low wages on a zero hour contract with no job security. By someone who is stressed, frustrated and in despair. They rang me and asked did I want to talk about the lack of regulation, about the inability of care agencies to implement care plans even when the money has been made available to them by the HSE, about our experience.
Listening back to it hurts a bit, to be honest, because I talked too much around the issues I wanted to raise instead of crystallising them and putting a clear and cold spotlight on one or two important issues. But – that’s how you learn. And I will take that as a lesson.