“Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” quoted by a Health and Lifestyle Speaker, Eleanor Brown.
While carers can often find it difficult to find the time and energy to take care of themselves, making time for self- care is important in order to avoid burnout and ensure that you can maintain a high standard of care.
Thankfully, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has recognised that carers need support and has, therefore, have rolled out a number of initiatives to help you as a carer.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) supports individuals with permanent and significant disabilities which affect their ability to participate in day-to-day activities.
The NDIS is introduced by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). The NDIS helps people with disabilities through:
To find out if you are eligible to use the NDIS, visit the NDIS website.
The NDIS primarily provides care for disabled people, but family well-being is always taken into account. Most carers play an important role in assisting the person they care for the transition to the NDIS.
Carers can provide a ' Carer Statement ' to support the person they care about and show the impact on their position of caring has on the family. Supports can be discussed during the planning meeting and then can be assessed to help maintain and develop independence and social engagement for disabled people.
This help could include emotional support, financial support, respite services, and others to help you cope. If you are an NDIS approved carer or an NDIS support worker, here are some tips to get the support you need.
Through the NDIS, approved carers are able to receive support through the phone counselling service. This will allow you to speak to someone if you feel overwhelmed or stressed and help you come up with a proactive action plan.
If additional counselling is required, you might qualify for a mental health care plan which covers a certain number of appointments with a mental health professional through medicare.
For people who prefer to connect with others in similar situations to share experiences, there are also opportunities to connect with others through NDIS carers online forums.
These can enable you to:
If you are interested and able to meet in person, there are also community groups available for carers to build a social network of others in the same situation.
Meal planning and preparing can take a significant amount of time and effort for you as a carer. At the same time, making sure that the person you are caring for is eating healthy and has a variety of foods that they enjoy is very important.
Assuming the person you are caring for has a healthy appetite, shopping online, buying prepared meals, and cooking and freezing can greatly reduce the stress involved with meal planning and preparation.
If this is not possible, the NDIS has funding available to help people with a disability ensure that they have healthy food options. It can also provide training to encourage independence so that the individual with a disability can prepare their own food.
Taking time to rest and rejuvenate is also important for carers. Having the proper beds and pillows can ensure a restful night sleep and ensure that you are prepared for the day ahead.
Through the NDIS, respite care can be provided for NDIS approved carers to give you a break in order to recharge and be able to continue your caregiving role. This respite care can range in duration from a few hours each week to a few days over the weekend and can be provided through a number of different religious or community groups.
For example, Flying Fox, based out of Melbourne runs camps for young adults with disabilities so that their parents or primary carers can receive respite for a few days.
It is always important to remember the range of resources available through the NDIS to assist you as a caregiver. To find out if you qualify as a caregiver, fill out this NDIS carer checklist to help.
Please reach out to your NDIS caseworker who will be able to help explain these different supports as well as any other ones that might be able to help you live your best life.
As well, Statewide Home Health Care is having a special on caring for carers where we are offering a 10% discount on all of our health and wellbeing products during the month of February to show we care.
The following examples and tools help explain the types of support provided under the NDIS for carers and for people with psychosocial disabilities.
DSS provides information and links to a variety of services available locally and throughout Australia including services for people with disabilities and caregivers.
Centres can assist caregivers with short-term and emergency response options, based on identified need, and provide guidance and arrange access to respite facilities in the local area of a caregiver.
Find more information on the DSS website.
Carer Gateway is a national online and telephone service providing valuable information and support services for carers. The collaborative service finder allows the carers to connect to local support.
Find more information on the Carer Gateway website.
Carers Australia is a voluntary organisation that supports carers in Australia.
Find more information on the Carers Australia website.