Former Cork City councillor Marion O’Sullivan has been a carer for her brother, Stephen Mackey, for 15 years.
Stephen has a severe intellectual disability and additional health issues. Ms O’Sullivan said his condition has deteriorated greatly in the past two years.
She said that it breaks her heart that she may one day have to put her brother in a home.
Speaking out ahead of tomorrow’s budget, Ms O’Sullivan said that she hopes that increased support for carers will be included.
She said that the last time she had a break was in May 2019, when a member of her family looked after Stephen while she took a holiday for a week.
Stephen requires full-time care, with Marion having to dress and shave him.
“There are huge issues for carers,” Ms O’Sullivan said. “The respite issue is one on everyone’s lips.”
She said: “It is breaking my heart that I might have to put him into a home in the future. I wake up at night in tears. I never wanted him to go into a home.”
Stressing how important it is for carers to have a break, she said: “If I cannot look after myself, how can I look after anyone else.”