There are over 2.65 million carers across Australia, who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who may be frail aged, have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, or an alcohol or other drug issue. Carers come from all walks of life, they can be parents, partners, friends, or children, who are caring for someone close to them - some find themselves taking on the role unexpectedly, and some often don’t even see themselves as carers.
Many of our clients at the Neurological Council WA, are supported and cared for by a devoted and dedicated spouse, family member, or friend - the ‘unsung heroes’ who go above and beyond to ensure their loved one is getting the assistance, support, and care that they require to live their best life with the condition, illness and challenges that they are facing.
Kym Heine, Clinical Nurse Manager at the Neurological Council WA, has worked closely with many of our client’s carers for decades, and is aware of the significant amount of time and energy that goes into the role.
“Carers give so much in their day-to-day lives to ensure the safety and health of those they care for, and while many carers will say that the role is very rewarding, it should also be acknowledged that carers can face significant physical and mental challenges due to the demands of their role, such as poorer health and wellbeing, or carer burn out”.
The key is to find balance, which is not easy, especially if you are juggling a whole range of other duties, responsibilities, or in some cases personal health issues, in addition to caring for a loved one.
Often, carers may find it difficult to arrange personal things for themselves, such as attending appointments, as the demands of the role leave little time for anything else. Without the right tools and information, this can have a huge impact on a person’s wellbeing. Carers need to be aware that they are not alone and that there are a range of services that can assist in order to manage the day-to-day workload effectively and minimise the risk of falling through the cracks and get further and further behind.