Edel McKenna from Balla has been named as the 2022 Netwatch Mayo Family Carer of the Year.
She has cared for her husband Joe since he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and uses her training as a nurse to support him daily. She previously moved home from London to care for her late mother who was PEG-fed following the removal of her oesophagus. Edel is an advocate for family carers and also works with the youth group Foróige in her area.
Now in their 15th year, the Netwatch Family Carer of the Year Awards seek to recognise and shine a light on the remarkable contribution of the more than half a million people in Ireland who provide care at home to loved ones such as children or adults with additional needs.
The 19 million hours of unpaid care provided each week by family carers would cost the State €20bn a year to replace. Family carers often go unnoticed in the community despite the immense workload they take on and the significant commitment they show to those that they care for. This has particularly been the case during the pandemic with many left increasingly isolated.