Sunday, 12 October 2014

Are YOU a carer?

It is fitting that Mental Health Week is followed by Carers Week but, of course, not all carers are mental health carers and the week from the 12th to 18th November is dedicated to celebrating and recognising the outstanding contribution all unpaid carers make to our great country of Australia. Hopefully other countries also take time to show appreciation for the sometimes thankless tasks that families or friends perform day after day as they show their loved ones how much they mean to them.

As with all these annual events there is a theme and the 2014 theme is:

You might like to participate in an event near you during Carers Week and you can find out what is happening near you here. It is a good time to show your support for unpaid carers and there are over 2.7 million of them around this nation alone. 

 Of course, for carers who are looking after a severely disabled loved one, even getting to such events would be impossible so spare a thought and your prayers for them. Perhaps if you know someone in such a situation you might like to call on them and bring with you some home baked goods or a little something to show them that they are appreciated even if you can't take over the caring role which is often a very specialised one. Added to that, in certain cases the person being cared for may not want someone other than those they are familiar with to do the caregiving. So it can be a very difficult role for families and friends but one which they do with much dedication because....that is what we do for our families and loved ones, isn't it?

 As there are readers here from all states of Australia and well as from overseas, I thought it might be helpful to other carers if you would care to take a moment to mention some support groups that you have found helpful for yourself in your particular area. If you aren't a carer you may have a friend or family member who has been helped by a particular group. You could leave a comment at the bottom of this post or else email me via the contact form in the sidebar. You just never know who might read the information and be helped by it in a moment of need.

US carers might like to have a look at Caregivers . There are some articles there about dementia and Alzheimers that I must read as they look very interesting. 

I will start the ball rolling by recommending Mental Health Carers ARAFMI which is an excellent support group for those who are caring for someone with mental health issues. I am not sure if this applies in all states but ARAFMI Queensland has a 24 hour support line which is invaluable as we all know that the wee small hours of the morning are often the worst for those who are going through a family crisis and can't sleep. 

Talking about mental health, I mentioned in my post How is YOUR Mental Health? that ABC TV was presenting a week of programs called Mental As during Mental Health Week and that, at the time over $11,000 had been donated towards mental health research etc. Well $1,106,021 has now been donated. How amazing! I can recommend the programs that I watched which were Changing Minds and All In Your Mind.  They are worth having a look at if you can work out how to do that :-) I can't see how to do that on my PC but I am sure I could on the iPad but you clever people will know how to do that I am sure as I am a bit technologically challenged. 
Do share about any support groups you know of wherever you live around the world. Don't be shy!


  1. I am in that other hemisphere, and all of that is nice, but few of us have the time or resources to participate in even supportive events such as these. My county offers respite, but it is difficult to coordinate stuff to be able to take advantage, which is really too bad because the more challenging it is to find time to take of ourselves the greater the relationship to how challenging and difficult is the person for whom you are caring.

    Circular, to be sure, but it is what it is. One of the women for whom I provide care resists every opportunity to become closer to her children and allow them to help her, to the point of starting fights with her children so that they are reluctant to continue to making the effort. It is her pattern and the main reason that she is so isolated. Even the most loving child will be worn down by a persistent trouble-maker.

  2. J, that is sad. It must be so hard for her family. Yes the issue of respite is a complex one and I am not sure if there is an easy answer. Carers need to be able to take a break but that is extremely hard to do in some situations. Carers very often become unwell themselves and many are on antidepressants in order to cope.

    1. There are days, when my schedule is tight that I am so grateful for my computer and the Internet, where bubble games, mahjohg and cat videos roam freely.

      I took that woman out for dinner and grocery shopping last night after work and she was quite proud to share that her daughter cried when the woman told her that she did not want to visit her for any of the winter (when she usually spends time with all three of her children). She plays favorites and she plays them against each other. I just sit there, silent and mouth and brain agape, because there are no words with which to reply to such blatant cruelty. She is just a friend and I set boundaries for how she treats me, but my heart breaks for her children. Such a freaking waste of time and love.

  3. J, I wonder what has happened in her life to make her feel like that about her girl. It is such a shame.

  4. There is almost always a department on aging at either the state or county level here in the states and most have lists of services and people to perform them. Many people are also not aware of all that Medicare will provide if they just learn and ask questions, one of the easier websites for seniors is and they have lots of info. Am going through this with my mom caring for her mom and all those who have come to help when they found out she needed it. That generation has a hard time asking for help. If you know a caregiver - especially someone taking care of a family member at home, the gift of an hour of shopping or a hair appt is priceless, an hour makes a huge difference to someone who is caring for another 24/7.
    What a wonderful post, hope this sparks a lot of discussions, this is a real need and not much talked about thus far! Bless you for helping spread the word!

    1. You are right about that generation having a hard time asking for help as my mum was the same, Kathy.

  5. Yep, i am and so are my sisters and my mother. I guess it runs in the family. I always thought id be caring for outsiders not my actual family but there it is. I was given the ideal training by my mother and many other fabulous women from our country church on how to find the joy in caring for others. God knew what he was doing.

    1. Being a carer certainly does sound like it runs in your family, Lynda :-)


Thanks so much for leaving your comments as I love to hear from my readers. As soon as I check them they will be published. If for some reason you have trouble leaving a comment feel free to email me directly by filling out the 'Contact Me' form on the sidebar at the right.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...