Bereavement Support Line 1800 80 70 77

17th Annual National Carers Week

We are delighted to be supporting Care Alliance Ireland (CAI) who coordinate National Carers Week which will be taking place from June 12th – 18th. The goal of National Carers Week is to highlight and celebrate the incredible, challenging, and invaluable work that carers do on a daily basis. 

Alongside Carers Week partners, Care Alliance Ireland (CAI) have organised a variety of events designed to inform, support and celebrate family carers throughout Ireland by #MakingCaringVisable, which is the theme for the week this year. Details of all events taking place across the week are available on You can also check out the Carers Week Facebook page for updates and information.

At Irish Hospice Foundation, we are working to ensure the best end-of-life and bereavement care, for all. From advocacy and education, to vital services like Nurses for Night Care and our Bereavement Support Line, we believe in the importance of dying well and grieving well wherever the place. We know that every carer’s experience is unique and recognise the importance of caring for carers.

Self-Care Tips

Zoom out. Remember everything you’ve achieved as a carer and be proud of your work. Being a carer is an incredibly challenging role and it can be difficult at times to remember the positive impact your caregiving is bringing into the lives of those you’re caring for. We see you and your positive impact and hope that today, you’ll be able to take a moment to celebrate yourself and your work.

Keep moving. Caring for someone is often a role that requires so much time and attention being placed on the person who’s being cared for that carers can forget about themselves. Take a few moments throughout the day to stretch, go for a stroll, or take some deep breaths to prioritise yourself and your body’s needs. Remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Have a laugh. It can be difficult to find moments of lightness for carer’s because the weight of the responsibilities they carry can feel overwhelming. Watching or listening to something funny, connecting with a hilarious pal for a quick chat, or even just letting your mind recall a silly experience you’ve had in the past can be a way to allow levity to enter into stressful spaces. 

Self-talk. Be gentle with yourself. Being a caregiver can bring an enormous amount of pressure and expectation with it. Being kind and compassionate with yourself is important in supporting you to navigate caregiving and those especially difficult moments. Talk to yourself as you would to a friend and remember everything you’ve achieved as a caregiver – you’ve got this.  

Scene Change. Getting outside and into nature can be a great way to reset. Whether it’s stepping outside and taking 10 deep breaths of fresh air, going on a hill walk, or for a swim in the sea connecting with nature can be a great way for carers to recharge.

Gather. Caregiving can be, at times, lonely. Socialising with others creates opportunities for carers to connect and reduce isolation. Whether it’s texting with friends, attending a support group, or attending a monthly book club, linking in with others is a way to support your wellbeing.

Express yourself. Expression of feelings is an important self-care tool. Writing out what you feel in a letter you won’t send or drawing your feelings can both be really helpful. Also singing along with favourite music that captures your feelings can calm the body.

Useful Resources

IHF Seed Projects

Talking About Cancer
Cancer Connect is a not-for-profit organisation with charitable status that co-ordinates free transport to Cork hospitals for passengers attending Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy treatments, and other cancer treatment appointments. It currently has a team of 320 Voluntary Drivers, many of whom have been with the organisation for ten years or more and have connected deeply with dozens of passengers along the way.

Blankets of Hope and Comfort
The Déise Woman’s Shed is a community group tackling social isolation in Dungarvan and West Waterford. Since its inception in 2018, the group has been knitting / crocheting ‘Blankets of Hope and Comfort’ for people of all ages facing life-limiting conditions, such as cancer, dementia, and Parkinson’s. These are then delivered to palliative care units at Waterford University Hospital and Dungarvan Community Hospital.

Beauty From Broken Glass
Roscommon Young Carers Project supports young people aged between eight and twenty-one who provide a primary or secondary caring role to a family member at home. This can be a parent, sibling, grandparent or indeed anyone within their extended family who has a disability, illness, mental health challenge, and / or physical injury. This can also include caring for foster siblings. 

‘Time-Lapse’ Touring Exhibition by Maria Noonan-McDermott
Read the beautifully-written piece from IHF Seed Grant awardee, Maria Noonan-McDermott. Maria writes about her personal experiences as a caregiver for her mother, Maisie, living with Alzheimer’s.