In light of the curtailment of many face-to-face Family Carer support services, and following extensive feedback, Care Alliance Ireland has set up an online Family Carer Support Group.
Open to all Family Carers living in the Republic of Ireland, this new online private group will be facilitated by a number of professionals with social work and counselling qualifications, moderation experience and will be supported by a number of former and current family carers who have stepped forward to volunteer.
The objectives of the group are as follows:
mitigate the impact of the sudden withdrawal of face-to-face support services that has occurred in recent days,
provide a safe virtual space for family carers to seek reassurance, ask questions, receive peer support and contain raised anxiety
encourage members to consider and create a back-up plan should they fall ill.
As of this morning (Wednesday 18 March), the group is now up and running at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/FamilyCarerOnlineSupportGroupIreland/
This will be delivered through the Facebook platform, in a closed/private group format. Users will need a Facebook account to participate.
The following steps are required to join the group;
Login to your Facebook Page
(To set up Facebook account check here)
Go to our Facebook Page Group available here.
Ask to Join the group
You will then be asked three questions:
Are you living in the Republic of Ireland?
Are you providing unpaid care to a family member or friend in their home due to an illness, disability or frailty?
Will you adhere to the group rules, specifically with respect to protecting the privacy of the person you are caring for?
Requests to join will be reviewed by the group administrators (Care Alliance Ireland staff), and subject to applicants replying yes to the three questions, they will be allowed to join the group.
Our group of 2 staff and 10 volunteers have been discussing group facilitation, content, moderation, etc over the past number of days and are confident that we can provide meaningful support.
We are aware of the privacy concerns that may exist. We have put in place clear Group rules and have modeled these on the very successful Special Needs Parents Association private Facebook Group that has been in operation for several years.
Furthermore, we have managed a specific Facebook page for the past 8 years – NationalCarersWeek. It has over 20,000 followers, 75% report being current and or former family carers, see here.
Please consider sharing news about this page with the families you work with.