VMCH: Taking Care of the Carers
VMCH's Carer Support program recently held an event at Coombe Yarra Valley, as an opportunity for the full-time carers to get together, socialise and have some time out from their responsibilities. The program provides events for people who live in Melbourne’s eastern region and care for a loved one with care needs including dementia, disability, chronic condition or illness, or older age-related needs. It is a chance for the carers to take a break and enjoy some time to themselves.
During the busy, and fun-filled day, some of the carers were asked to share about why they enjoy being involved:
Carer: Maggie Hawkes
“I’ve cared for my mother for 17 years. The social inclusions I have been included in have been just wonderful. I’ve been to live shows, including The Lion King. I know I could possibly access some money and take myself to a live show. But it is the connection, it is the companionship. The people you’ve seen before. The “how are you going?”. It’s the people, the new faces, the new experiences.
"I’ve also had a lot of practical help. I get my gutters cleaned once a year, and I’ve had a big front and back garden blitz. Caring for my mother, I don’t even get a chance to rake a few leaves or do the composting. And this wonderful quality team just comes in and helps me."
Read more of Maggie's story, here.
Carer: Buena Di Nuzzo
"Being a carer, it’s a challenging commitment. It is lovely to be able to see other people and share your experiences with other mums and parents that go through sort of the same thing that you go through. I think is the best thing that you can get out of these support group programs, and the fact that you can express yourself. And feeling that you have something in common and not feeling alone in what you go through every day.
"We also get to experience a lighter side of being a carer. I’ve been in Melbourne over 20 years, but there are still things that you don’t get to see because your life is caught up with a lot of things and you are just focusing on your caring role and your child and your family.
"It just brings joy, to not have to stress out about ‘where’s my child’? You can’t fully appreciate these events if you go with your family because it’s hard looking after your child. And not thinking about yourself every time you go out.
"This is an opportunity for us to think about ourselves, and wind down. To energize us after several weeks of having a challenging time or hardship of dealing with your kids with disability.
"It’s just heart-warming that somebody out there also feels that you need a little bit of a break. It really helps us a lot."
Read more of Buena's story, here.
For more information about VMCH's Support for Carers program, call 1300 971 720.
View some beautiful photos taken of the day on VMCH's Facebook page, here.