Fairymount man, Vincent Callaghan, has been named as the Irish Red Cross Carer of the Year for acting as a full-time carer for two of his children for nearly four decades.
Vincent received the award from the Irish Red Cross at a ceremony held at the Abbey Hotel, Roscommon on Friday evening. His son Gabriel and daughter Noreen, who both have special needs, rely on him for their everyday needs; preparing their meals, looking after their personal hygiene and helping them eat.
Vincent was nominated for the annual award by his daughter Christina, who said, “All who meet [Vincent] are sure to say that he always has a smile on his face and is in good form”. Vincent himself has a condition which affects his immune system but he carries on regardless of how tired it makes him. “Making sure Gabriel and Noreen are always safe and cared for in the comfort of their own home”, added Christina.
Christina told how her father tries to support as many people as he can, whether that’s by shopping local or by caring for neighbours who have had no family to care for them.
A typical day for Vincent starts bright and early, providing breakfast and assisting with hygiene needs. He makes sure lunches are ready and everyone is on time for day services. Vincent then helps out in the community, taking neighbours to fetch groceries or even helping with farming emergencies. At the end of the day Vincent finally sits down to watch the nine-o-clock news, “or falls asleep during it”, adds Christina.
There are more than 180,000 people, 4% of the total population, currently providing unpaid care in Ireland.
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.
The Irish Red Cross provides training for Carers throughout the country. An eight-week course covering mobility, adapting the home and home hygiene. The charity also publishes a Helping You to Care Handbook. Both the handbook and training are designed to give Carers the knowledge and skills needed to ensure that the person being cared for achieves the best quality of life.
For information about Irish Red Cross Carer Training and handbook, contact the Dublin office on 01 6424600.