Caring for a loved one is a hard job with long hours, no pay and often little access to support systems. Supporting someone else’s needs can result in losing sight of your own.
Like many unpaid family carers in our community, Kathryn is a loving wife who cares for her husband, Micheal. When the responsibility of caring came calling, she didn’t hesitate to take on the role of a carer. Carers often take up multiple roles apart from caring; they are a parent, partner, child, relative, or friend. Most carers have jobs as well as their caring role.
They are discussing the end-of-life arrangements for Micheal.
Kathryn and Micheal moved to Tasmania from NSW a decade ago, leaving all their family, relatives, and friends behind with the hope of having a more comfortable life.
For a long time, she felt isolated from the outside world, unable to leave Micheal’s side due to his health complications.
Micheal was born with a hole in his heart, and as he has aged, his heart function has slowly declined. He is currently palliative, and they are discussing the end-of-life arrangements for him.
While Kathryn battles with her own set of health issues, it hasn’t stopped her from seeking out support, enabling her to be resilient but recognising her vulnerability and grief.
The caring role has taken a physical and mental toll on her wellbeing, but she tries to make the best use of her time and take control of her life.
Whenever they have a support worker at home to look after Micheal, Kathryn tries to manage her time to attend craft sessions, do the shopping or play bingo.
Carer Gateway supports all carers as individuals with individual needs.
Kathryn is not alone; many carers feel the same way. Carers talk about feeling exhausted and drained and often feel despair being unable to cope with their own lives.
There are multiple services at Carer Gateway to support carers, including counselling, carer coaching, and emergency respite.
However, as the saying goes, not one size fits all. There isn’t one solution to assist all carers who need support which is why Carer Gateway supports all carers as individuals with individual needs.
Kathryn chose to try Carer Gateway coaching even though counselling was available. Being a former counsellor herself she knew she needed someone to talk to and was interested in trying coaching because of the emphasis on problem-solving.
Carer Gateway has developed coaching as a service to support carers build their capacity, self-identify needs and goals, and self-manage their situation.
Working with a coach has enabled Kathryn to break down barriers and reflect on what was happening in her life.
Kathryn has worked on understanding where she is at this point in her life and how to make the changes she needs. She now looks forward to working with her regular coach, Jo with whom she has developed a bond over time.
Finding the real issue can move people toward the next step.
Carer Gateway understands carers are skilled problem solvers and fixers, usually practising this skill set for others. The coaches are here to help carers discover the real challenge they are facing.
With a coach, you can create meaningful change. They will support you as you work towards your goals.
Our (Care2Serve) in-house coach Jo says, “finding the real issue can move people towards the next step”.
“Coaching helps you take time out to think about how things are going, how you’d like them to be, and how you can move forward in the right direction.”
“Coaches are curious, and they seek to understand what a carer is going through. Therefore, the scope is not limited it is what the carer brings to the session. Carers are the drivers of the change and