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Who Cares?

It is National Carers Week this week and at Your Side that means it is a week we celebrate and recognise the wonderful work and love that our carers give on a daily basis.

We are going to share three carer profiles with you this week.

Meet Ani and Berge

Q: How did you become a carer?

My husband (Berge) was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in November 1988. He is also profoundly deaf in both ears. I have been caring for him ever since diagnosis.

Q: Describe your day as a carer?

  • I wake up at 5am to start Berge’s medication regime (every 2 hours).
  • I help him out of bed, shower and dress to start our day around 8-8.30am.
  • I organise all meals for the day as Berge cannot cook for himself.
  • Organise activities, socialise or watch some TV.
  • Get Berge ready for bed around 10-10.30pm.
  • I manage any interruptions during the night.
  • I also work 3 days a week, very close to home. During those days I still do most of the above and leave his dose of medicines for the time I am out. He will re-heat dinner leftovers from the night before and/or make himself a sandwich for lunch.

Q: What are some of the positives of being a carer?

I know that he is cared for well as I’m doing it. I know also that I can’t do it alone. I have been blessed to have a very supportive compassionate family, my sister and her husband, their grown up children and our close friends. Without whom I would’ve found it very difficult to care for Berge for all these years. Now we have the assistance from NDIS and their providers to further carry the load.

Q: What have you found hard to adjust to being a carer?

Berge has psychological challenges as a result of the medications he is taking. There can be some behavioural impacts around that I need to manage.

Q: What Your Side services do you utilise to support you as a carer?

Cleaning & Gardening

Q: What’s changed for you since you started using support services?

I can take a breath now, look after the caring, and focus on other jobs that need to be done.

We can also have people drop in without me doing the frantic cleaning before they arrive.

My husband is also happier living in a regularly cleaned house and a garden which is well maintained.

Q: What advice would you give to other carers?

That asking for help is OK!

Q: What can our community do to better support carers?

Perhaps GPs should be identifying the needs of the carers and arranging immediate contact by supporters and suppliers rather than waiting for them to break down.

It’s not easy to care for someone and look after yourself as well.

I had thyroid cancer and it’s still difficult for me to remember to take care of myself too.

For more information about how Your Side help carers and services we provide please go to: https://yourside.org.au/support-for-carers/

Email: customercare@yourside.org.au
Call: 1300 134 332


 

Meet Lesley & Thelma

Q: How did you become a carer?

My mum, Thelma, had a stroke and was then diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s and needed someone to care for her. I resigned from my job and applied to Centrelink for Carers allowance.

Q: Describe your day as a carer?

  • Get mum up and dressed
  • Make breakfast
  • Do washing and change bedding
  • Make lunch
  • Make sure mum has something to entertain her like TV, music, colouring in or books to read
  • Manage bathroom breaks during the day
  • Make dinner
  • Get mum ready and off to bed.

Q: What are some of the positives of being a carer?

Just being with mum.

Q: What have you found hard to adjust to being a carer?

Remaining patient all the time and accepting that she is different and will never be who she was.

Q: What Your Side services and programs do you utilise to support you as a carer?

  • Bath help 3x per week
  • Shopping respite time
  • One weekly respite day and one monthly respite day

Q: What’s changed for you since you started using support services?

I am less stressed.

For more information about how Your Side help carers and services we provide please go to: https://yourside.org.au/support-for-carers/

Email: customercare@yourside.org.au
Call: 1300 134 332


 

Caring for over 40 years

This is our second National Carers Week carer profile. It is anonymous and about a carer who cares for his daughter who has been in a wheelchair for over 40 years.

You are amazing!!

Q: Who do you care for?

My daughter who is a DARTS* participant.

Q: How long have you been a carer?

Over 40 years.

Q: Describe your day as a carer?

  • I get my daughter up and showered, dressed and feed her breakfast.
  • I clean her teeth, put on her shoes and socks and then get her back pack ready.
  • She goes out for the day on the DARTS program which gives me a break.
  • I maintain the house and do all of the domestic duties.
  • I assist my daughter to make sure she drinks enough during the day.
  • I help her with all of her toilet breaks.
  • I prepare the evening meal which we always have together and then clean-up.
  • Brush her teeth and get her into bed.

Q: What are some of the positives of being a carer?

I know my daughter appreciates me for all the things I do for her.

Q: What have you found hard to adjust to in being a carer?

It can be a struggle when you, as the carer, are unwell.

Q: What Your Side services and programs do you utilise to support you as a carer?

My daughter is a participant on the DARTS program regularly.
This gives me the time to get done what I need to and have respite break.

Q: What’s changed for you since you started using support services?

I receive a good 6 to 8 hours of respite during the day while she is out on an enjoyable day trip with DARTS.

Q: What advice would you give to other carers?

It is a lot of ongoing work but rewarding.

Q: What can our community do to better support carers?

Keep on doing what you are doing to support a caring community.

*The DARTS program at Your Side provides recreational and social outings transport for adults in wheelchairs.

For more information about the DARTS (Disabled Alternative Road Travel Services) Program and Events contact:

Email: customercare@yourside.org.au
To register call: 1300 134 332