There are many services that provide information, support and counselling for Aboriginal families who are caring for an older person or a person with a disability.
Don’t feel ashamed about asking for help
Getting help doesn’t mean that you can’t cope or are weak. You may feel shy about asking for help, but will feel a lot better when you do. You can:
- let your family know if you need help and work out what jobs they can do
- contact our Information Referral and Intake and Aboriginal Home Care services to see what help you are entitled to.
Don’t wait until you are really stressed out before you ask for some help.
Try not to feel guilty about having some time out
All carers need some time out. When you take some time out, the idea is to enjoy yourself and unwind so that you can return to your daily tasks feeling better. Feeling guilty will only bring you down.
If you’re looking after a family member or someone with a disability and you need some time out, you can receive what is called ‘respite’. Respite means that you can have a break while the person you care for is being looked after by experienced support workers.
Get things off your chest
Don’t keep things bottled up. Even strong people need to have someone who will listen to them. Often just talking to someone will help you feel a lot better.
Joining a carer support group may also help. Carer support groups bring carers together on a regular basis to take some time out from caring, get emotional support, share ideas and information about what is available to help you.
There are carer support groups for women only where you can talk about things that interest you. There are also groups just for men. Call Carers NSW freecall line 1800 242 636 to find out about carer support groups in your area.
You have the power to feel better
It’s a waste of energy trying to change the way someone is, but you can change the way you react.
Looking after your own wellbeing is very important to help you cope with the demands of caring and staying positive.
- Get some fresh air
- Get plenty of sleep
- Eat well
- Reward yourself by doing something you enjoy.
Information booklet for Aboriginal families
Find out all sorts of information about disability services, taking a break and Aboriginal organisations that can help you in our publication Shoulder to Shoulder.
Families in crisis
If you have a child with a disability and are having considerable difficulties, you may be eligible for short-term help at home through the Aboriginal Intensive Family Support (IFS) initiative.
Read more about intensive family support