A Carers Journey

shutterstock_269593829Are you in a caring role?

Do you provide informal care and support for a family member or friend who is frail aged, has a disability, mental illness, chronic or terminal illness? Did you know more than one ten members of the NSW community are carers? (carersnsw.org.au)

The caring experience can be both challenging and rewarding and it is important that the needs of both the carer and the person being cared for are identified and met.

Carers NSW, the peak body advocating and supporting carers in NSW, has developed a great interactive resource aimed at, firstly, identifying the experiences of carers, and providing information, support and resources that can benefit both the carer and the person they care for. The ‘Carer Life Course’ is adapted from the ‘Carer Life Course: An Evidence-Based Approach to Effective Carer Education and Support’ by Dr Deanna Pagnini, NSW Health.

A carers journey starts in:
– phase 1, where the carer knows something is wrong but not sure what this involves;
– phase 2, where the person cared for has been diagnosed;
– phase 3 where the shock of the diagnosis wears off and life revolves around adjusting to and re-adjusting life to meet the needs of caring;
– phase 4, the managing phase where the carer has learnt how to incorporate the caring role into their everyday life;
– phase 5, purposeful coping, where the issues are the same, however, the carer has more knowledge and skills and is now proactive and purposeful; and for some carers…
– phase 6, where they are no longer in the caring role, for a variety of reasons, which can include the person being cared for no longer requiring care, the person cared for moving into residential care, or the passing of the person being cared for.

Follow the link to access the interactive tool and find out more.

Carers NSW offers counselling for carers. Call the Carer Line on 1800 242636

The Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres can offer information, emergency respite and a variety of other direct services. Call 1800 052222

Vital Health offers private Psychological Services, Paediatrics, Dietetics (Medicare rebates available), and a suite of services to help with stress management and self care (Yoga, Meditation, Remedial Massage). Call 9545 6939 to make an appointment.