Jenny is a carer for her teenage daughters who both have Autism Spectrum Disorder and mental illnesses. Jenny also cared for her late partner, Steve, before he passed away from cancer.
The role of carer was not something Jenny saw for her future, but one she has taken on – “you do it because this what you do for the people you love”, she explains.
Like many carers, Jenny has difficult days, saying “sometimes we forget to breathe. Getting out of the house can be hard and we may be late for work, miss appointments, or lose contact with friends. You suck it up and live in isolation with no support, because you don’t really know what you need and you’re too exhausted to seek it”.
Through initiatives like the Victorian carer strategy, Jenny has been able to access support and connect with other carers. These networks allow her to enjoy some time to herself, whether it be taking the dog for a walk, having a cup of coffee with friends or doing yoga.
It is crucial that carers are acknowledged for all the work they do, “If there weren’t carers there would be a lot of people in desperate need because we do so much for the community,” says Jenny.
Hardworking and dedicated carers like Jenny will be celebrated during Carers Week – 13 to 19 October – by holding a number of local events. This gives carers an opportunity to get together and support each another, share ideas and information, and raise awareness. If you’d like to get involved, visit the event page on the Carers Week website.
Support for carers
Access more information on the Victorian carer strategy and its $50 million investment in extra respite, transport concessions and grants for programs that assist carers on our Health.vic website.