Carers from across Donegal enjoyed a day of enjoyable activities and pampering during a Carers Day event hosted by the HSE Donegal Physical & Sensory Disability Service in conjunction with MS Ireland.
Twenty eight people attended the conference in the Villa Rose Hotel, Ballybofey on Thursday 21st November.
The aim of the day was for carers to take time out, away from their caring role, to focus on themselves and also to have an enjoyable and fun experience.
The aim of the event, now in its second year, is to address the challenging and rewarding elements of a carer’s role.
Dr Mark Hogan a Clinical Neuropsychologist, with the Physical and Sensory Disability Service gave a session on how stress and burnout can develop when providing care for a loved one. He discussed what to be aware of when stress becomes more frequent and looked at personal strategies to improve the management of stress in the caring role and in day to day life. Clement Clarke a Carer talked about the role from his own personal experience stating ” I joined the Carers Association and went away with them for a weekend. It is really important, as a Carer, to get away and have a break”
A range of treatments were offered to all attendees. Pressure point massage, foot massage, nails or thermal spa. While people were having treatments all other attendees had the options of joining small group discussions where attendees shared their experiences of being a Carer: the challenges and what helps them with this role.
Andy Mc Granaghan lightened the mood with a few jokes and the day ended with all attendees having lunch and taking away a ‘goodie bag’ from the Natural Way.
There was a positive collaboration between HSE and all voluntary agencies to try to ensure that carers who need support the most were given the choice of coming today. Information stands were present on services, relevant for carers, in the community.
For some carers extra home support was put in place to allow them to set aside their caring role for today in order to attend.
According to Anita Gallagher, Physical & Sensory Disability Service Manager: “There was an opportunity for all attendees to give their feedback on the day which will help us, as a service, plan for possible future days. We hope that all attendees enjoyed the day and take something away that will help them in their day to day role as a Carer.”