Carers Week 2019
It’s Carers Week, a time where we recognise and celebrate carers across Australia.
Carers provide regular support to people who need it because they have disability, chronic illness, mental health issues, dementia or are frail aged.
Currently there are 904,400 carers living in NSW, which means 1 in 10 of us is a carer.
This year, we interviewed some carers about what being a carer means to them. We also asked them how they seek support, both in their careers and personal lives. Watch to find out more.
Jenny – carer for her Mother
‘I’m really grateful to be a carer for my mum because I find it really rewarding and really meaningful’.
Jenny became a carer for her mum when she had a stoke 10 years ago. Since then, Jenny has finished university, begun her career and is currently in the process of completing further study. All whilst caring for her mum.
As a carer from a CALD background, Jenny says she advocates for her mum to ensure she receives access to the right information, so she can make informed choices about supports that suit her.
Jenny says: ‘my advice to other carers would be to make sure you take the time out to look after yourself, because that’s the only way that you’ll be able to look after yourself’.
UTS: a workplace that values carers
UTS supports both staff and student carers to achieve their career and academic goals, and be the best carers they can be.
UTS’ carer program manager, Priya Viswanathan says: ‘We value our carers, we want our carers to feel respected and included in our university community’.
As an employer and learning institution, UTS understands the unique perspective that carers bring both to work and to the classroom.
Carer and UTS employee, Tania, agrees. She says: ‘I find working at UTS rewarding and fulfilling because they value my experiences as a carer’.
Ian – carer for his son
‘I had to really help Jack in the early days, and then after a really quick period of time, I realised he was really helping me become a better human being’.
When Jack was diagnosed as being autistic, Ian’s wife was starting her business. So Ian took time out of his career in broadcasting to become Jack’s full time carer.
Ian says at the time he had no idea what a positive experience being a carer would have on his life. He says that his decision to become Jack’s primary carer increased his depth as a human being.
Ian says: ‘It’s been a fantastic journey and we have really grown together, and I think now, Jack pretty much cares for me’.
Dianne – carer for her mother, daughter and brother
“My main message to Aboriginal People and connected communities, when they are caring for a loved one, is to do it together”
Dianne became a carer at nine years old, when her mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia. She also cares for her daughter who lives with autism, and for her brother who is part of the deaf community.
Dianne’s positivity and passion for caring are clear when you meet her. And she uses this passion and experience to advocate for carers and people living with a disability.
She regularly shares her story to help others understand that they’re not alone.
Dianne says: “The lessons I have learnt as a carer is to never feel isolated, always experience being with someone and sharing a story”.