Heath man is Laois Carer of the Year

Frank McAuliffe, who has been caring for his mum for the last eight years, is the Laois Carer of the Year 2012.

Frank McAuliffe, who has been caring for his mum for the last eight years, is the Laois Carer of the Year 2012.

Frank, who is from The Heath, was chosen from a number of nominations as Laois Carer of the Year 2012, provides care for his mum, Josephine, also known as Jo, who has Alzheimers.

“I was very surprised and shocked when I got the call last week, I was gobsmacked,” Frank said.

Frank was nominated by his wife Paula, who saw the nomination form on the Carers Assoication website.

“I just filled out the form and submitted it. I forgot to tell Frank, I even forgot about it myself until he rang me in work last week to say he had been chosen,” she said.

Frank juggles keeping his own business going with looking after his mother. His wife Paula, who works full time, also helps him out.

“We’re lucky that we have support from the Alzheimer’s Society, the HSE and we also have a private night nurse. But you’re never free from it and at the weekends it’s just me and my wife,” he said.

Paula is full of praise for her husband, who is devoted to his mum.

“He is brilliant with his mother. There is not a lot of sons who would take on an Alzheimers patient. You don’t get that much appreciation, so he really deserves it,” she said.

“Frank is self employed and he is keeping the women who help us out, going too. We would be lost without them, they are part of the family. Jo needs 24 hour care, but she is doing well and we have been able to keep her at home for the last five years because of the great care she is getting. I consider her like my own mother now,” said Paula.

Caroline Poole, Area Manager of The Carers Association Laois branch, congratulated the winner.

“We are delighted to be presenting this award to Frank who has dedicated so much of his life to caring for Jo. Frank continues to be an inspiration to all who know him and truly deserving of the accolade of Laois Carer of the Year 2012,” she said.

As Laois Carer of the Year 2012, Frank will represent Laois in the Leinster Carer of the Year award. The Leinster Carer of the Year will then attend the annual Carers of the Year Awards in May whereby one regional recipient is awarded Carer of the Year 2012.