Caring for the carers in Portlaoise

AS part of Laois Carers Week, the Laois Carers Association hosted a health fair in the Portlaoise Parish Centre this week.

AS part of Laois Carers Week, the Laois Carers Association hosted a health fair in the Portlaoise Parish Centre this week.

The health fair, on Monday, was an opportunity for both carers and members of the local community to get some free health checks done, as well as meet with members of the Laois Carers Association and have a chat.

There was a large turnout to the event with a steady stream of people in and out of the parish centre all morning. Caroline Poole, of Laois Carers Association, told the Leinster Express that they were delighted with the success of the event.

“We had lots of very interested people in all day, its been a great success. You can be very isolated being in a carer’s role and we really want to be there to support people,” he said.

There were a number of stalls at the event, where people could get their hearing, breathing and blood pressure tested, and get information about asthma, osteoporosis, and mental health.

Dolores O’Neill from Specsavers said that the event was a “great idea, for health and as a social outlet”, while Statia Wellwood from the Fruit and Nut Place emphasised that “it is very important to care for the carers”.

According to Caroline, a recent survey showed a lot of carers suffer from depression, isolation, stress and back injuries because of the work they do, so coming to get their health checked is very important.

There are nearly 2,500 carers around Laois at the moment. Laois Carers Association provides a number of services including an in home respite service, support groups, counselling, training and education, advocacy and lobbying, information and pamper days.

As part of this weeks events, carers in Laois will be travelling to greyhound racing on Thursday, as well as heading to the Bloomfield House Hotel in Mullingar for a bbq on Sunday. This is a regional event and the Carers Association have organised a bus up for the day.

“It is all about what the carers want to do, we don’t organise without them. They wanted to go to the dogs and we’re heading off to the dogs. Today is the dogs and tomorrow is Las Vegas!”, said Caroline.

The association will also be holding a meeting on Tuesday next, June 26 in O’ Loughlin’s Hotel in Portlaoise at 11am. Everyone interested is welcome to come along.

For more information on the Laois Carers Association contact 086 7597086.