In my work in community health, I encounter a lot of carers- people caring for the needs of someone who is frail elderly, or disabled or chronically ill. These carers perform an incredible service to not only the person in their care, but also to the community, providing care which would otherwise have to be met by the taxpayer. Many carers sacrifice careers, income and social relationships in order to perform their caring role. Some are young carers who juggle their own educational needs with caring for a parent, sibling, grandparent or other family member. Often their efforts are unnoticed and unacknowledged in our society. Yet most carers would say that their role is one which they approach with a deep sense of commitment and love.
Often people who care for others are the least likely to ask for care for themselves but carers need care too. If you know someone who is a carer, remember when you are asking them about their loved one, don't forget to sometimes add "and how are you doing?" An offer to stay with their loved one, or a note or other gesture of encouragement to let them know that they are doing a good job and are not forgotten by the rest of society can mean so much.
12th -18th October is Carer's week in Australia. May God bless the many carers in our society and their loved ones.