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Caring for someone (and yourself!)

By January 10, 2023Blog

Carers play a central role in caring for and supporting, people with disability in Australia. They provide a family member, partner or friend with regular or ongoing care and help – without being paid. They assist with a variety of personal care, health care, transport, administrative support, cognitive and emotional tasks, household chores and other activities.

61% of family carers suffer physical ill health and 72% deal with mental ill health as a result of the pressure that comes hand in hand with their caring role. If you’re a carer, it’s important you take some time to look after your own health and well-being because it will help you in your caring role. Taking regular breaks from caring will help you avoid becoming worn out.

It can be easy to put your own needs last, but it is important if you are feeling tired or stressed to look after yourself so you are still able to care for the person that needs you the most.

Here are some ways you can prioritize yourself sometimes, in order to be a better carer:-

  • Get some exercise – Doing something physical (like going on a walk or stretching) will help you maintain your energy

  • Sleep properly – Carers often have trouble sleeping because they find it difficult to relax. Try relaxing with a warm bath or herbal tea before bedtime. Take a brief rest in the daytime if your night’s sleep is disturbed. If you find it difficult to sleep on a regular basis, see your nurse or doctor.

  • Maintain a healthy diet – Keep up your strength with a balanced diet.

  • Do something for yourself every day – Take a short break to do something for yourself and renew your energy!

  • Be social – Maintain social contact with friends and keep up with your usual activities.

We understand how overwhelming it can be to be a carer for a loved one. Often it is reported that carers don’t seek help for themselves. But remember that you are an important part of the care team and your well-being is vital to being able to provide the right care.

IDS is organising a Client and Carer Engagement Group (CC & EG) to provide support and discuss the best way to provide client-focused support through 2023. Our first meeting is scheduled for the 3rd of February, 2023.

If you are interested in attending or would like more information, call the office at 03 9340 5100.