Caring can be emotionally and physically taxing, with carers having the lowest wellbeing of any large group measured by the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index.
As Carers Victoria states, carers are 40 percent more likely to suffer from a chronic health condition. The statistics demonstrate how challenging it is for carers to consciously carve out time to take care of their physical and mental health.
Grace Papers acknowledges that it is an important opportunity to recognise and celebrate the extraordinary contributions ordinary people make to the lives of others every day, for those in caregiving roles, every day presents new and challenging circumstances.
To make life easier for Carers, one of our favourite tools in the Grace Papers platform is Creating your Personal Board of Directors.
It generally consists of sponsors, mentors, friends and family that are there to not just support you personally, but also professionally, helping you to navigate career and care, and realise your full potential.
We spoke to Samara Dobbins Deputy Secretary, People & Operations at DPC NSW who cares for her daughter who has a diagnosis of Williams Syndrome, starts her board of directors with her social media tribe:
“The wonderful world of disability and the world of neurosis or disability is that you can pretty quickly find your tribe through social media who are in the same situation as you. I have a facebook group of Williams Syndrome Mums. You also want to make sure your boss is on your board of directors. If you can say your senior manager is supportive and on your board you’ll have such a better time.”
Zoe Weston balances emergency foster care with being Manager Practice and Permanency for New England, Department Communities & Justice. She relies on her community and collaboration for her ‘board’.
“Foster care is a collaborative effort. There are a whole bunch of people that come into your life with each child that is there to support the child but also support you. Career wise I’m fortunate to have a group of women, peers and colleagues at work who are in some form juggling lots of things. We have great professional relationships but we’re also really great friends!”
Andrew Parkinson is Director Communications at DPIE and cares for his wife who is diagnosed with frontal lobe dementia and suspected motor neurone disease.
“Jen is the chairman of my board. I know what makes her tick and she’s given me so much over that time, she’s made me the person I am to deal with this. The team at work is so supportive. They’ve been my counselling group, my board of directors, my support network.
Maybe it’s that we are with virtual support because of covid but I couldn’t do as much as I could within them behind me. The support team form the NDIS. I’ve been lucky to get great support 24 hours from NDIS. Seeing the dedication, passion and support to make every day a good day for her has been remarkable to watch. It’s a big board table for me!”
Fiona Duncan, Senior Communications Advisor, Department Planning Industry and Environment is a carer for her Uncle who is in aged care and can’t do without the assistance of her registered nurse.
“The registered nurse that looks after my uncle is amazing. When his headphones aren’t working I ask, can you get someone to fix it? And she’s there!
Extended family is great as it takes two of us to get him in and out of a car. Often it’s my dad driving or my sister taking him to the dentist. We need to make sure we’re sharing the love in terms of appointments and giving him the care he needs.”
Use Grace Papers coaching activity in our new platform and find your own Personal Board of Directors to make life easier to balance care and career.