Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Caring for the Carer

 For 1 week out of 52 weeks in the year, Carers are allowed to give themselves permission to do something nice for themselves. 

Carers Week has just passed in Australia and Councils and other organizations arrange outings and lunches to celebrate these unsung heros of our society, and that is great.. 

If we were waiting for the one week of the year to look after ourselves, we would land in a sorry mess rather quickly. Sadly, though, this is the state a lot of carers find themselves...just managing to focus on the loved one and getting the job at hand done to the best of their ability and not having any energy left to care for themselves.

There is a very good reason we are asked to place our oxygen masks on first, before helping others on a plane. It is because if we are no good for ourselves, we are no good for anyone! 

Caring for a loved one with a disability is not for sprinters, it is a true marathon and we really need to pace ourselves and keep ourselves as strong as we can, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

In my book: 'Waising Miss Chloe', I dedicate an entire chapter to self-care & time out.And  In this blog, I am going a share a few of the ideas with you all.

Self-care and time out do not need to be time consuming or expensive. Although I do think it is nice - every now & then to treat yourself to something special. I have learnt in life that is actually MY JOB to ensure these 2 things are covered. If I am relying or expecting someone else to step up & provide me with the time out or self care, I could be very disappointed.
The very easiest way to do some (except when you are under the pump) time out, is to remember to breathe...Silly you may think...of course you when we are stressed, our breathing becomes very shallow and this induces more stress.

The breathing I am talking about is conscious, deep, slow breathing. Once your breathing slows down, you become less tense and are able to manage things better.

Daily meditation is a great tool as well...nooo, you don't have to sit lotus style ummming for hours on end, if that is not your style. Just sit in a comfy seat, with a guided detestation for 10 minutes to begin with and wortk your way up to half an hour.

Go for a walk on your own, with a friend or the dog, if your dog is a good walker. Remember, this time is time a stressful dog walk is for a different time.

I LOVE a bubble bath, with candles!

When I am in the car alone, I put MY music on or I listen to a talking tape, that way I enjoy the journey & arrive feeling more refreshed.

Watch a comedy show on TV...laughter is an amazing stress release & wonderful for time out.

Go for a nice drive ( and use some of that music I mentioned above). Country markets, seaside, a lake...there are many beautiful places to go for time out.

If you have a partner make sure you have regular date nights (mark them on the calendar)...where children talk is off-limits!

These are but a few suggestions, there are many, many more....what will your self-care program look like??

Something else I have learnt to be very aware of is H.A.L.T.S mode.

H - Hungry
A - Anxious/Angry
L - Lonely
T - Tired
S - Sick

If life seems to be getting on top of me more then usual, I stop and do this check list. 

If I am hungry, I eat...tired, I rest & any of the others I look after myself and try to be kind to me till it has passed.

There is nothing wrong with asking for time out & doing self fact it is vital when you have an demanding role as being a carer can be.


Take time out and start enjoying life....

Purchase my book, click the link below, and get some more great hints and tips.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Are you “plan ready” for NDIS?

Moving away from
'Burnt Toast' Syndrome

For the past few years, the buzz word in the disability world, has been NDIS in Australia.

You would think NDIS was some great white horse, coming to sweep people with disabilities and their families up and out of the challenges and scarcity or today and onto a fluffy white cloud of abundance and peace. (insert unicorn and rainbows here -->)

And even though we are having all these trials, it seem a few things are being left behind or overlooked completely.

1)  We DESPERATELY need a permanent card for people with permanent disabilities,
this I spoke about in a previous blog (Cards on the Table)

2)  Its great that the power is being given back to clients and their families  BUT many of them have no idea how to ask for what they want.

In the past, this group of people have been forced to accept whatever comes their way and to not make a fuss, in case they are noticed and that smattering of help gets whisked away.

They sure were not game to ask services for what they needed
 You see, disability in Australia has ALWAYS been Service Focused. This means, services are given a block of money to provide services for their clients. They set their programs or services then get the clients. The said clients then get told what the service provides, and how often they will provide this wonderful service.

There is no flexibility and you are reminded over & over again that if you are not happy, there are many on a wait list who would LOVE your though this service  doesn't work for you, you learn to adjust yours & your families lives to fit into it. (eat your burnt toast and enjoy it)

After all, when you have spent hours & hours having to fill in copious amount of paper work - right down sometimes to 'What words does your child say', AND HAD TO HIGHLIGHT EVERY SINGLE DEFECT YOUR LOVED ONE HAS... You are not keen to face having to repeat this process somewhere else. So, you learn to be very quite and just fit in and don't rock any boats. I call this Burnt Toast Syndrome


Now they turn around and tell us NDIS is all about US taking control and TELLING the services what WE WANT!!!!!

AND they are providing short courses for people to learn to become  PLANNERS. 
HOW EXCITING!!!  Or is it.....Planners are the people who sit with you and work out a plan for the need of the person with a disability. 

Many of the people they will be working with are the EXACT group who have been taught Burnt Toast Syndrome. These people have no idea where to start...but all of a sudden, they are being told to sit down & tell us what your loved one will need for the rest of their lives?

You will recognise them....they are wandering around looking like they have been struck in the headlights of a fast on-coming car, muttering NDIS NDIS NDIS ... 

We need to help this group get PLAN READY.

These people need to learn to imagine better & remember what it feels like to dream again.
These people need to learn how to get an advocate to do the negative speak for their loved ones & start only focusing on their positives...just like parents of non-disabled children do!!!


Contact me at: if you'd like me to do a workshop around getting carers to 'IMAGINE BETTER & BE PLAN READY'