Did you know that Australia has over 2.7 million carers (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2015)? Carers Australia defines carers as people who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue or who are frail aged. The replacement value of unpaid care provided in 2015 was $60.3 billion over $1 billion per week (Deloitte Access Economics 2015). Wow!
The purpose of this Blog is to create awareness of the potential needs a carer may have, to validate the weight that the responsibility carries and the possibility of receiving assistance. Carers may be husbands, wives, children, siblings, partners, flatmates, parents or close friends.
Research shows that one-third of carers experience severe depression and that being a carer for someone else could be one of the leading causes of their depression (Beyondblue 2016). Some struggles that a carer can experience are (Throne 2013):
• Tiredness. Exhaustion can creep in quickly as the carer’s role is not like a 9-5 occupation.
• Guilt. Sometimes the more tired we become, the slower and unsympathetic we become which can lead to guilt for lack of compassion given.
• Isolation. If the caregiving role is fulltime, there can be little or no time for socialising. It may even be impossible to leave the house.
If you are a carer, you are amazing! Your hard work and dedication are invaluable to those you care for and the community in which you live. If you are haven’t already started working on a self-care plan can I encourage you to do so? You have needs also, and the carer also needs to be cared for. Why not start seeing what is available to you by visiting http://www.carersaustralia.com.au/home/. There is no shame in putting your hand up and asking for help, we all need it at some point in our lives. If you know a carer, a little encouragement or a helping hand can go a long way. Until next time. C