Carers: The Unsung Heroes

21 October 2022

To recognise National Carers Week, MSWA Senior Counsellor Liesl Murdoch penned this reflection on the invaluable role of carers in our community:

Carer holding elderly man's hand

Each and every day heroes walk silently amongst us. Without fuss and fanfare, they quietly go about their business, seeking neither recognition nor accolades for their work. In fact, many reject the idea their efforts are labelled as work, framing it instead as “just what you do for the people you care about”. These persons don’t wear capes or their undies on the outside, but heroes they are, nonetheless. So, who might be these invisible heroes? These people are commonly known as ‘carers’, but ‘common’ and ‘ordinary’ they are not.

Carers are people; young, middle aged and old, who often and without forewarning suddenly find themselves thrust into the world of illness and disability. This is not because they themselves are sick or live with disability, but because their partner, parent, child, or friend cannot manage life without their assistance. With steadfast commitment and devotion, these individuals often forgo their own physical, mental and financial health, in working conditions that are harsh and not for the faint hearted. If you don’t believe the ‘hero status’ award is applicable, read their job description...

Would you have what it takes?

Vacancy: Carer
Long Term Opportunity.

No formal experience required. All on the job training. Work at home.
Hours: Fulltime (leave negotiable but blocks of hours may be available in an emergency)
Pay: Minimal (usually earned alongside performing caring duties)
Upon exiting this role, you will have a skill set for possible future employment in Nursing, Speech Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Counselling or a position as a Taxi Driver, Executive Assistant, Chef or NDIS Planner.

Nonetheless, even with the significant challenges and personal sacrifice required for this role, these ‘heroes’ turn up day-in, day-out for weeks, months and even years providing, advocating and seeking excellence in care for their person. It’s more than likely you know a carer hero as there is an estimated 2.65 million Australians doing this unseen work.

So, who cares for the carer?

MSWA has a long history of support for carers, acknowledging and recognising the unique role these special people play in the lives of persons living with neurological conditions. Social events and Carer Camps are run several times per year. For more therapeutic support, there is individual counselling or the option to join a counsellor facilitated group. These meet monthly in the metro and outer metro region, offering the opportunity to be in the company of other carers. One member recently shared:

“The group is a safe space with other carers who are going through a similar situation. It provides a lifeline during scary and uncertain times as we care for our loved ones. Through our voluntary sharing, we not only learn from each other, we provide mutual comfort and support. For 2 hours every month, I make a conscious effort to put myself first and attend this support group as a part of self-care”.

Carers underpin the community efforts of supporting our society’s most vulnerable. So, next time you come across someone with illness or disability, don’t just ask them how they are, look to the person beside them and ask how they are. Carers are superhumans, but carers need support too.

Contact us

If you would like to be connected to a group or counsellor, please contact our Counselling team on 9365 4911 or complete the form below and one of our friendly team members will be in touch as soon as possible.