A Ballincollig teenager has been named the Young Carer of the Year for Munster.
18-year-old Lily Power was one of four regional carers honoured at the Netwatch National Carer of the Year ceremony held yesterday.
Lily has been caring from a very young age for her mum who has Parkinson’s.
Broadcasters and patrons of Family Carers Ireland Marty Whelan and Mary Kennedy presented Marcin Filak from Meath with the overall Netwatch Carer of the Year Award.
Marcin cares for his wife Ola, who suffers from locked-in syndrome, and their two children, the eldest of whom Piotr (13) has autism.
Ola suffered a catastrophic brain stem stroke three weeks after the birth of the couple’s daughter Anastasia (2), resulting in locked-in syndrome.
Her condition means she is aware of her surroundings but cannot move or speak and now communicates through eye movements. The couple are originally from Poland but moved to Ireland in 2016.
Now in their 13th year, the Carer of the Year awards recognise, celebrate and shine a light on the remarkable contribution of Ireland’s 355,000 family carers – almost two-thirds of whom provide over 100 hours of care per week.
Today, one in 10 people provide care for a loved one in the home. By 2030, that figure is expected to rise to one in five.