I was invited onto the ABC 702 Drive Show to talk to Chris Bath about my caring role. Our conversation highlighted the role of carers on International Women’s Day as 70% of primary carers in Australia are women. Have a listen to our discussion.
Carers on International Women’s Day
Chatting to our ABC 702 host, Chris Bath, is easy as she is so genuine in conversation. My fellow guests on the Drive show were Petrea King, founder of Quest for Life and Yvie Jones. It was pertinent to address carers on International Women’s Day as the majority of primary carers are women and 56% of all carers in Australia are female*.
As a primary carer I supported Emily’s return home after her traumatic spinal cord injury – 5 years ago now. My role continued as she returned to further education and work opportunities. Now my tasks are more subtle as my ethos has always been to enable Emily and I have encouraged her to be as independent as possible from the get-go. Emily self manages all but the washing!
I have overcome carers guilt and left Emily to manage by herself, celebrating upon my return or adjusting arrangements to ensure future success. We have learnt there is no failure just an opportunity to better understand situations and improve our preparation.
Our ABC 702 radio conversation on Wednesday highlights several issues that other carers may share:
- Striving to live comfortably at home while addressing the needs of a differently-abled person.
- The need for workplace flexibility for carers i.e. working from home or flexible hours especially in the acute, intense recovery phase post trauma.
- Overcoming carers guilt. It’s important to let the differently-abled be independent and self manage, revealing how incredibly capable they are.
- An important aspect of caring is the bond between people, building and cementing relationships – having fun and being positive.
- Prioritising self-care so that you bring your best self to your caring role.
- Surrounding yourself with a strong ‘team’.
Martha James – my support yesterday at ABC 702 and always XX
ABC 702 Drive Show – with Chris Bath Our conversation starts at 2:31:35
Read more about self-care
Read – Suddenly an Everyday Caring – for coping strategies through crisis.
*Carers Australia statistics