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Carers Still Forgotten by the System: Carer’s Awards to Acknowledge Them

Source: The Audacious Agency
Archived 9 Dec 2019 - Posted: 10 Oct 2019
Helen Pryse Lloyd, Living Made Easy CEO
Trish Logan has been caring for her husband of 35 years, Robert for almost 10 years. Robert has young onset dementia; he was 57 years old when he was diagnosed. Since then his conditioned has worsened, locking them both in their Central Coast home.

Trish is one of the 2.7 million carers in Australia who take on the burden of caring for their loved ones at home. It is a thankless role, filled with loneliness, isolation and stress.

These carers get paid very little for giving up their lives to ensure their special someone doesn’t get lost between the cracks.

Helen Pryse Lloyd, Living Made Easy CEO, said Trish’s situation is not uncommon. “There are so many carers out there, caring for their loved ones – children, parent or partner – with little support,” she said. “They are alone and isolated.

“Despite changes to funding with NDIS, there so many hurdles and obstacles carers need to jump through just to get assistance for the person they care for. Many carers receive very little government support in terms of income support, despite the fact they save the government millions by caring for people in their homes.”

Trish said she doesn’t see anyone except for respite carers and the people at the shops. “Thursday and Fridays someone comes to our home so I can pay bills, do a few jobs and get up to date on stuff,” she said.

“This was not meant to be our life. We were going to buy a motor home and travel.”

Now the furthest Trish travels is the local supermarket and her part time job as an aged care worker.

She could put Robert into a home, but she says there are no homes for people like Robert. “There are no homes for young onset dementia. They go into aged care or high care.  It would have made it easier if there was a specialised place for people like Robert. Young people do not belong in aged care place,” she said.

Despite her life revolving around her husband, Trish is pragmatic. “I want Robert at home. I am not going to say it is easy; it’s not. But we got married for life,” she said.

While Trish carries the load largely on her shoulders, she is not one to shy away from shaking the system up. She is on first names basis with her local MP, who has helped her get answers to questions like why his NDIS is taking so long to be approved.  “I am his voice now. I want things to go right,” she said.

Helen said more needs to be done to care for the carers. “We hear from the carers that we support that often their needs are not met through their loved one’s NDIS plan or due to the long waiting time for home care packages,” she said.

“Living Made Easy wants to recognise the outstanding contribution Australia’s 2.7 million carers make and raise awareness among all Australians about the diversity of carers and their caring roles.

“This is why we are launching the Living Made Easy Carers Awards during National Carers Week October 13 to 19. It is so important to recognise and acknowledge the people who are doing it tough, behind closed doors with very little support.

“The caring role often carries an emotional, physical and financial toll which can lead to burn out.”

This article archived 9 Dec 2019

 
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