Support systems are essential to maintaining and managing your physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual wellbeing.
Supports systems don’t have to be formal, and you can structure it in a way that makes you feel most comfortable.
What are support systems?
Support systems are a network of people and services that can provide you with practical and emotional support in your caring role. This network is designed to focus on just you and your needs rather than looking at the person you care for.
It can be challenging to recognise, especially when new to the caring role, how much of an impact caring will have on every aspect of your life. That is why it is important to know who is in your corner and understand where you need support.
The caring role can sometimes be a lonely place, especially in situations where your loved one has high care needs; however, it doesn’t have to be when you have strong support systems in place.
Support systems can be made up of friends, family, counsellors, support groups and many other people. When you have these supports in place, it allows you to have the best chance to thrive in your caring role.
Do I have a strong support system?
A simple exercise to see if you have a strong support system is to write down:
- Who can I turn to when I am feeling down?
- When I am behind on housework, who can I turn to, to assist me?
- When I am sick who can help make sure that the person I am caring for is looked after?
- When I want to be social, who can I turn to for a coffee/dinner/catchup?
- When I am feeling overwhelmed, who can I turn to for support?
If you struggled to answer some of these questions or you would feel more comfortable having a few extra supports for each, we have listed some ways below to strengthen your support systems:
- Reaching out to the Carers WA team and its partners to receive carer support planning that captures a holistic picture of your circumstances to create a personalised action plan of where you need support.
- Through an in-person peer support program.
- Speaking with a counsellor.
- Building a new support/ connection through the Carers WA Pen Pal or Pen Partner program.
Where can I go for support?