Who Cares for Carers?

Having just gotten over a huge bout of the flu, and not being able to see my family and friends got me to wondering once again, what happens when the care giver actually becomes ill?

I know I’ve been extremely lucky in that I have my Mum, Dad nearby and my Husband. However, they are all getting older and I am sure I’ll be caring for them in the not to distant future. So what happens then?

You think you know until it happens!

You would think that someone who runs a disability expo would know what would happen next, and in theory I’ve got a pretty good idea for people who care for loved ones with moderate to severe disabilities. But, what happens when those you care for are generally high functioning? They already fall between the cracks for generalised help as they may be able to get by most of the time. 

However, that is the problem. High functioning people with disabilities can make dreadful decisions because they perceive themselves as being normal. This can lead to inappropriate friendship groups who manipulate situations and then the person with the disability can lose their money, possessions and self-esteem – and this is the good scenario! Or, they are taken into custody for a crime that may have been prevented if your care was still there.

Reaching out online 

I was reading an online group forum where someone was reaching out – obviously at the end of his tether – asking what happens if I get sick/fall etc as my wife wanders and I cannot afford care? Can you believe one of the comments was “Aren’t you being a little over dramatic?” And I would answer “NO!” Caring for a loved one regardless of whether it is a child/parent; parent/child; sibling/sibling relationship is very stressful. Why do you think so many marriages break up when a child with a disability comes onto the scene? One parent takes up the majority of care, while the other escapes (sorry, goes to work) and has a relatively normal life with normal interactions outside of the home on a regular basis. Believe me there can be a whole lot of resentment going on, but I digress.

Reaching out in real time

Luckily, we have the NDIS and an Aged Care System here in Australia, and whether you think it is good, bad or otherwise it is better than nothing. So, what would I answer to that person reaching out? I’d say, “Don’t ask the internet”. Ask your local doctor or care organisation, they know what is available for you the carer, in your local area. I’d also recommend that you do so now not if or when something happens, and you can no longer provide care or the level of care required. For the best outcome for you the carer and the loved one you care for it best to have back up plans – it will save a whole lot of heartache and stress.

If you need help or want to have an action plan for just in case contact your local care association.

Carers Australia – link to http://www.carersaustralia.com.au/

Carers Queensland – link to https://carersqld.com.au/

Carers New South Wales – link to https://www.carersnsw.org.au/

Carers Victoria – link to http://www.carersvictoria.org.au/

Carers Association of South Australia – link to https://www.carers-sa.asn.au/

Carers Association of Western Australia – link to https://www.carerswa.asn.au/

Carers Northern Territory Australia – link to https://www.carersnt.asn.au/

Carers Tasmania Australia – link to https://www.carerstas.org/

Disability Expo Sunshine Coast & Regional Disability Expo – “Everything disability under the one roof” – link to https://www.disabilityexposc.com.au/

Other links to blogs I’ve written

What about Me? – link to https://www.disabilityexposc.com.au/blog/what-about-me/

Five Reasons to be kind to yourself as a Carer – link to https://www.disabilityexposc.com.au/blog/five-reasons-to-be-kind-to-yourself-as-a-carer/

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