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Our Carers’ Coffee Club is a new online resource for family carers to get together via Facebook Live at 11am on Thursdays. The club will have guest healthcare professionals and experts in self-care and well-being providing online support, advice and guidance to family carers during the Covid-19 pandemic and we are inviting family carers to submit their questions for each expert over the coming weeks.
In case you have missed any of our guest speakers, you can still watch their sessions from the Facebook Live series below.
Our first guest was Dr Tony Foley, a GP and lecturer in the Department of General Practice in UCC, who gave an overview of Covid-19 and answered questions related to the virus from family carers.
Our second guest was end of life, grief and loss specialist, Bryan Nolan who offered viewers advice on how to stay well and mind yourself while caring for those you love during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Our third guest was Laura Dowling, aka the Fabulous Pharmacist, who gave an overview of the work of pharmacies during the Covid-19 pandemic and offered advice on medication management and self-care.
Joanna Fortune, a psychotherapist specialising in the parent/child relationship, was our fourth guest and spoke about parenting in a pandemic when you have additional care needs to consider, her ’15-Minute Parenting’ model and how play is an ongoing and necessary part of the parent/child relationship (regardless of the age and developmental needs of the child).
Dementia Nurse Specialist Jackie O’Toole was our fifth guest and offered expert advice and tips for those caring for a loved one with dementia during the Covid-19 crisis.
Our sixth guest was Behaviour Analyst Virge Connery who gave tips and advice on dealing with challenging behaviour in children and young adults with special needs.
First Aid Responder Instructor Helen Hartnett was our seventh guest and spoke about the signs and symptoms of stroke and heart attack, keeping calm when contacting the emergency services and how to deal with burns, nose bleeds and other common occurrences requiring first aid at home.
Family Carers Ireland’s Policy and Public Affairs Manager Clare Duffy was our eighth guest and spoke about the rights and entitlements of family carers.
Professional Accredited Counsellor Tony Moore spoke out our emotional responses to being a family carer and what we can do to give ourselves some “me” time.
Counsellor and Psychotherapist Sarah Sutton delivered a session on how anxiety and stress begin and how they manifest in our bodies and outlined some tools that can be helpful in stressful moments.
Dietitian Niamh McGettigan from Nutricia took us through some general healthy eating advice and tips for those caring for loved ones.
Trusts Solicitor Pauric Druhan from Pearse Trust gave a presentation on setting up a discretionary trust for a person with special needs and took questions on the topic.
Gina Delaney, Development Officer with Mental Health Ireland, discussed the benefits of the five ways to mind your mental health – Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give – and ways that carers can put these into action for an improved sense of wellbeing in our lives.
Medication Safety Pharmacist Muriel Pate from the HSE Quality Improvement Team Muriel offered tips on managing medicines safely and overcoming some of the communication challenges brought about by Covid-19.
Registered Nurse Mary McLoughlin gave a presentation on high risk factors of falls; anticipatory awareness with some conditions (Dementia, Parkinson’s, MS, Osteoporosis); environmental factors and the fear of falling.
Certified Instructor and Registered Nurse Jane Cassidy gave advice to those who are caring for a loved one with a PEG (Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy) tube and require feeding via a tube.
Development Officer and Physical Trainer with Siel Bleu Ireland Paul Kirwan did an exercise session focusing on the key muscles and joints which may come under most strain during a family carer's day-to-day duties.
Catherine gave a talk on the importance of making valid wills, taking proper advice and making proper provision for loved ones. She also explained whether our will can be challenged by anyone and the implications of dying without a will.
Carmel gave a presentation on using PPE properly and sanitising and maintenance of equipment to help prevent injury or illness to family carers and the cared for person.
Kathy gave an overview of Family Carers Ireland's new Emergency Scheme which aims to give peace of mind to family carers as well as ensuring that the person they care for remains safe if the carer is involved in an accident or emergency.
We were delighted to welcome back Bryan Nolan to our Carers' Coffee Club for a second time.
''You Can't Pour from an Empty Cup'' is the tile of Bryan's session and includes timely advice on caring for ourselves while caring for others and exploring ways that may help us to refill that cup of ours.
Registered Nurse Mary McLoughlin of Healthcare Training Solutions sensitively delivered a presentation covering important end of life care topics including care planning, communication and symptom management.