Written by Bec Dudley
In life, most of us really just wing it and learn on the hop – yahoo for adulthood! Wouldn’t it be much easier if we also learnt from others shared experiences? Yet there are important subjects most of us do not like to share due to the pain and trauma of the experience, but it is these very subjects we need to be brave and openly talk more about so that we can help others navigate through their own journeys with more ease and confidence.
At this point in time, I am experiencing life as a fulltime carer.
Twelve months ago our world was forever changed when my husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer, since then I have been his fulltime carer and it has not been easy.
Did you know….
There are over 2.7 million carers in Australia who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends, that’s 12% of the population.
In Queensland there are 533,200 carers, including more than 50,000 young carers; 272,000 carers are under the age of 25, which equates to around 1 in 10.
Carers provide 1.9 billion hours of care each year.
More than two thirds of primary carers are female.
As you know, I am a forever learner and so I went on a journey trying to find out all I could to help me be the best carer for my husband while also ensuring I was tapping into resources that could also help me, because I also crashed and burned!
I understand not everyone has the skillset to search for what they are looking for or know what they are needing to know. So, this is why I put together this short course via my online bfree2be School. I am not reinventing the wheel as there is so much good stuff out there. I just want to help point carers in the right direction and give you a starting point. You can access The Beginners Guide to Being a Carer course here at https://courses.bfree2be.com.au/p/carer-skills. The course is FREE and full of tips, links and advice.
Remember your wellbeing is important!
If you find talking about your experience as a carer upsetting, you may want to talk to someone. Lifeline 13 11 14 and Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 are two services that are both available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if you need support.
The public health care system in Queensland also has local Nurse Navigators available to help in navigating and researching what your loved one needs in relation to palliative care, talk to your local Cancer Care social worker for further contact details.
Your local Cancer Care social worker is also there for you too as the carer, talk to them, they are also there to assist you on this journey!