Ever wondered “what if something happened to me and changed my whole caring situation?”. If your caring circumstances change you may be left to reassess your situation in an instant. Ensure you and the person you care for maximise your quality of life, create a plan to overcome any issues that could occur.
Caring situations change all the time, so carers must be prepared for these changes. Examples of changes could be:
- An accident that leaves you suddenly unable to care for your loved one in the same way you did before.
- An accident where the person you care for has injured themselves.
- An emergency outside of your control that you need to tend to for some time.
- Your loved one or yourself experiencing a deterioration of physical or mental health.
- You have started new employment or education commitments.
- Your caring role has ended.
Carers WA understands and acknowledges that these things happen. We encourage our Western Australian carers to be prepared for change.
Ways carers can prepare themselves for changes include:
- Ensuring you have a back-up plan for emergencies or unexpected events – this will help you minimise stress and any financial impacts. Carers can call the Carer Gateway line (1800 422 737 Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 5.00pm) to create a goal-focused action plan with a professional Carer Support Planner who can assist you with your caring journey. They will identify main areas of priority and provide support with Carer Gateway services. Read more about “Preparing for the unexpected” here.
- Understanding it is okay to feel emotionally impacted. Carers WA provide free counselling to Western Australian carers on our counselling line (1800 007 332 Monday – Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm).
- Finding out what other supports you are eligible for and planning these supports and services with a Carer Gateway Carer Support Planner to maximise your outcomes in your caring role. This may be sorting out what payments are best for you as a carer. Read more information about who Carer Support Planners are and how they can help you achieve the most out of the services you are eligible for in our latest news section. If you are a young carer and are unsure of where to start, please contact the Young Carer team by calling 1300 227 377 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ensuring your employer knows about your caring role and that emergencies may happen from time to time. This enables them to understand your leave of absence instantly. Read more about how employers can support carers within the workplace here.
- Reading the “Help and advice” section on Carer Gateway website for information about supports such as “At home supports”, respite, looking after yourself and many more key subjects for carers.
What to do if your caring role is ending/ends
If you are in a caring role with someone who is nearing the end of their life, read the Carer Gateway “Planning for the end of life” information page or visit Carer Help to view their resources.
If your caring journey has come to an end, we understand the difficulty of this experience. Carers WA encourages you to take your time with adjusting to life after caring and reach out to access support services like counselling to assist you. If you feel ready to get back into employment but are unsure of where to begin, view the Carers WA “Be job ready!” program. The services you may have been receiving from Carers WA or Carer Gateway may still be able to provide support. To find out if your services will continue after your caring role has ended, please contact Carers WA (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm) for further information.