Individual Submission – Sjon

I am a carer

The proposal to create a locally accessible intergrated carer support service through regional hubs whilst streamlining current commonwealth carer respite or support programs into this single model is an important and sincerely needed change . Reducing complexity to accessing enabling & strain alleviating services for carers is a very worthwhile change project. It is crucially important that carers have the confidence to access a recognisable , modern , and relevant service that is singularly branded nationally yet has a local presence & identity . The intergrated service should not duplicate the work of any organisation currently in the sector yet it should focus on enabling carers to sustain their stamina , wellbeing , and a more balanced life through stronger connections to peers , community , and resources which either improve the carers autonomy and self confidence, or replenish their abilities to care through flexible respite . As a carer it often feels as if life has become an existence , that the ability to generate an income is out of reach , that social events or friendships come last , and that emotional health is a luxury not an essential , it is possible that the intergrated service could transform the life of carers from existence to a purposeful & thriving life that is centred on caring in a way that preserves your personal sanity , wellbeing & resilience. Being a Carer can be a really lonely experience, and one that many don’t really understand . It can make you feel less about yourself not because you don’t make sacrifices & do meaningful things , but because you don’t have the same opportunities to improve your life as many others because your daily focus is sustaining or improving the life of the person you care for , this absorbs most of your conciousness & energy . This is reflected in mood & self esteem , and how you make decisions