There are more than 736,000 Victorians (a sizeable chunk of the population) who give their time to caring for a family member or friend who needs them.
In most cases, caring for someone close has a positive impact on caregivers. Many people report positive experiences from caregiving, including a sense of giving back to someone who has cared for them, the satisfaction of knowing that their loved one is getting excellent care, personal growth and increased meaning and purpose in their life.
This sense of satisfaction and well-being can have important benefits for people providing care and support.
However, being a carer may mean missing out on some of life’s opportunity and ordinary things others take for granted. Carers may lose contact with other people, become lonely, lose their job or have shifts cut, drop out of their studies. Often they do not have time to look after or enjoy themselves. The reality of many carers is that they put the person they support first, their own needs can become secondary. This can take a physical toll, and it can make carers feel alone, tired, burnt out, guilty or resentful, and these feelings can affect their health and wellbeing.
There is help out there
The team at IDS recognise the vital role families and carers play in the lives of people with disability. We can provide advice about respite and other services. Carers Victoria (9396 9500) or the Carer Advisory Line (1800 242 636) can also provide advice and assistance.