Last night, Séan Foy from Maynooth in Kildare, received the 2013 Irish Red Cross Carer of the Year award for providing 17 years of full time care to his wife Martina Foy who suffers from Chron’s disease, arthritis and is also deaf. The award ceremony took place at the Glenroyal Hotel, Maynooth, Co. Kildare.
Séan was nominated for the award by his wife who he has taken care of for nearly two decades; administering her medicine, preparing meals and taking care of the housework and children. Due to her illness, Mrs Foy is sometimes confined to her bed and is reliant on a wheelchair and walking stick to aid her mobility. Martina described her husband as "the glue that holds the family together" saying that Séan "makes her laugh and makes her feel like the most beautiful woman in the world”. The couple have two children who Séan home-schools the couple’s– the eldest child has Aspergers.
According to the 2011 Census, Kildare is has 7050 carers, just over three percent of Ireland’s 187,000 Carers. Millions of hours of care work are given voluntarily each week by family carers of all ages, some as young as fifteen years old.
The Irish Red Cross Carer of The Year Award is an annual award open to all carers in Ireland. The award acknowledges the dedication of informal carers at home and in the community who provide an essential service to the vulnerable and display true humanitarian values.
As part of its Health and Social Care Programme, the Irish Red Cross aims to deliver humanitarian services to vulnerable people and communities in need across the country. In support of Ireland’s Carer’s the charity offers a range of resources and services; including the Carers Handbook, ‘Helping You to Care’ course, therapeutic hand care and skin camouflage services.