Sharon, a single mother of three, cares for her 18 year old daughter Keely, who has a physical disability and needs intensive care, which Sharon is unable to provide.
“I came to Carers ACT in 2010, before the NDIS was in place, to get help caring for Keely. It helped me with so many practical things that made my day-to-day life manageable. Every time I needed something it’s been there, helping me connect to supports I needed. I wouldn’t have coped without it.
But I was so busy looking after Keely that I had no time left for my other two children and felt guilty. Carers ACT stepped in and got Jess and Lachlan onto its Young Carers program, connected them to social activities and even organised driving lessons for Lachlan.”
Two years ago Keely’s health deteriorated and she went to hospital, needing a registered nurse 24/7. But the NDIS would only fund a part-time nurse so Sharon had no choice but to leave her daughter in hospital. There was nowhere else for Keely to go. That was two years ago.
Ever since then Sharon and her younger daughter Jess have visited Keely in hospital every day. They’re both feeling incredibly stressed, with Jess recently diagnosed with anxiety, so we have set up times for her to come in and talk to our counsellors.
We were aware that Sharon was struggling to be both a carer and a mother so we offered to support both those roles. Recognising that one-on-one time with Jess was very important, we organised opportunities for Sharon and Jess to have some special ‘girl’ time and a much-needed break from the hospital. Knowing Jess dreamed of becoming a vet, we arranged a unique ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ full day tour at Canberra Zoo.
“I am so touched and appreciative that Carers ACT is supporting me in all areas of my life as a carer. I don’t know any other organisation that could do that.”