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Carer’s Week – Sarah’s reflection
On the weekend, I find it helpful to have support in my caring role. If I am doing something with Ben that means he can be very anxious then extra support can ensure his safety and make it a social event as well.
Carers can often feel isolated, as usually the role is the carer and the person together alone. However, asking for support is morale boosting.
On Saturday Ben and I ride our bikes to McDonald’s with support from my Dad and my partner, Mark.
This support is amazing because without it I would not ride alone with Ben because he is too anxious and needs someone in front and behind him to feel safe.
Spending time with other family members when you are a carer
Later in the day, my daughter Maddie and I took the dogs to Albert Park Lake to have some mum and daughter time. Mark was at home with Ben who was happy to have some boy time.
It is not very often I get to spend time with my daughters as they are so busy but it’s great to get a call out of the blue, ‘Hey Mama shall we take the dogs for a walk?’ Luckily, Mark was on hand to keep an eye on Ben, if not Ben would have come too.
As a carer sometimes, we do not get to spend the time with other members of our family because the caring role comes first. For example, I love to spend time with my Mum and Dad but Ben does not like going to their house, which makes it difficult to see them. I have to be more imaginative so that means Dad comes with us to the Mall for a treat rather than going to their house for a visit.
NDIS supports carers
I am able to use respite, once a month, which means I can do things that I would not do with Ben. Like going to Mum and Dad’s for a visit, going to the movies or to places I cannot take Ben. This down time is so important and allows me to explore who I am as a person not a carer.
Carers can forget what it is like to be an individual separate from the caring role. If you live with a loved one you, care for it can become interdependent and we as carers can lose ourselves because of the day-to-day caring role.
The NDIS can support my caring role through encouraging Ben’s interest in exploring Melbourne with a support person, who is more like a peer than a parent, while I spend some precious time with my parents. #WHYWECARE. #CARERS2018