Being a carer

Families with high burdens of care and lack of enough external supports may consider relinquishing care of their family member. In other circumstances, that role may be taken away from them. It is important to document the steps that were taken in requesting assistance in all areas to demonstrate and protect from issues that result from a lack of resources being provided to assist within the home.

Some roles related to being a carer can naturally decrease over time and get replaced with new tasks or roles dependent on the individual and the opportunities around them. Some roles are removed due to distance or not available at all e.g. grandparents living overseas. Others take on huge roles to reduce the burden of care and support the health of the individuals within the immediate family e.g. grandparents looking after grandchildren. Some roles that involve care may start off well but decrease over time as the burden becomes increased and the skills / trauma being experienced from watching others provide care becomes too much to cope with e.g. families that have become isolated from spending time with the rest of their families. Being able to travel may alleviate that burden but the extreme challenges of being able to organise, afford that etc may not enable it to be an option.

Personal time to be able to take care of each individual within the family and their own health and wellbeing needs is essential when planning out schedules for the day or the week. Working with your Occupational Therapist will assist in working out how to prioritise needs for each individual and how to develop strategies and resources to manage everyones needs within a 24 hour cycle. Where those needs are unable to be met large quantities of sustained advocacy is required. For those working with multiple carers in the family collaborating regarding consistency in strategies used is essential so to not increase the workload of the individuals who are being supported.

It is important to think through Duty of Care vs job description vs professional role vs personal role(s) and separate out those from environments which may force you to take on more responsibility.