Clondalkin mother named Dublin Family Carer of the Year
FACED with extremely challenging daily conditions for her husband and son, a mother who just “gets on with it” has won the 2022 Netwatch Dublin Family Carer of the Year.
Rose Curtin, from Clondalkin, cares for her adult son Daniel (30), who has an intellectual disability, autism and intractable epilepsy.
Her husband, Robbie, has early onset dementia and now lives in a nursing home following a battle with leukaemia.
Alongside caring for their son, Rose visits Robbie every day and has remained incredibly strong for her family.
Speaking to The Echo, Rose, a Cherrywood mother of three, said the two men have been through a lot.
“Robbie got leukaemia in his early 40s. He had to get a bone marrow transplant, which led to mini strokes. The mini-strokes were a side-effect of the transplant, which wasn’t expected, and this then led to front lobal dementia. Leukaemia was a doddle compared to the other stuff,” said Rose.
“For two years, I was with him at home, but the kids were small at the time, I had to weigh it up about a nursing home. It is still a knife in the heart to have him in there.”
Rose goes in to see Robbie every day, and says it is all about “repetition” in terms of communication.
On top of all this, Daniel’s condition is a different type of serious, and he requires hands-on care, needs to be dressed, fed, and brought to the bathroom.
“He has lots of different types of seizures, it is hard to control with medication. He has gone through a lot, it is more challenging behaviour.”
No wonder then that Family Carers Ireland, the national charity supporting Ireland’s family carers, was “delighted” to announce that Rose was the recipient of the award.
Rose was nominated by her friend, Moira Skelly, who says that Rose completely dedicated her life to taking care of her loved ones and “deserves recognition for her compassion, kindness and strength in the face of all her daily challenges.”
An unassuming and down-to-earth character, Rose said an award is not something she thinks about, but acknowledged that it was nice to get recognition.
“It’s your life and you get on with it the best you can,” said Rose.