Did you know there are 2.65 million carers in Australia?
Carers look after and support someone with a disability, chronic illness and mental illness without being paid. Carers come from all walks of life, but they are often close family members, such as a parent, grandparent, child or partner.
You might not use the word ‘carer’ to describe yourself, and we get it.
But whether you support a child or close relative, help informally, or you’re just one person of many providing care, you can access our family and carer support programs.
When your child is first diagnosed with a disability, it’s normal to have a range of feelings. It’s common to feel sad, angry, guilty, shocked, relieved or a combination of all these emotions.
There’s a good chance you’ll also feel confused and overloaded, with too much information, conflicting advice, pressure to make decisions and the need to navigate the confusing worlds of healthcare and disability support.
There’s no right way to feel, and you’re certainly not alone.
Our playgroups are designed to support parents and families of children living with a disability, developmental delay or chronic medical condition from their initial concerns or diagnosis up to primary school.
Led by a trained community facilitator; the fortnightly sessions help families connect with people who understand their journey, make friends, access expert information and link to local services.
Playgroup also provides the opportunity for babies, toddlers, and pre-school aged kids with additional needs to play in a fun, supported environment, that encourages them to grow, develop, and sparkle.
Available in Bendigo and Mildura.
For more information check out our blog about the benefits of attending a supported playgroup.
Sibling Social Groups
It’s common for kids to help take care of their brothers or sisters, especially when their sibling lives with a disability. They can be a fantastic help and develop strong bonds if encouraged to help with caring for their siblings in the right way.
However, many kids feel responsible for taking on a parenting or adult role to reduce the pressure on their parents or protect their siblings. Over time this can lead to some big emotions.
Caring for a sibling can potentially strain family relationships if your typically developing child doesn’t have the chance to talk about their feelings or blow off steam with their friends.
Our sibling social groups are designed for children and teens who have a sibling or family member with a disability to hang out with kids their age going through similar experiences.
Led by a trained community facilitator; the monthly sessions give siblings a much-needed break, a chance to develop as an individual and make friends with other kids who understand their lives. Regular activities include going to the cinemas, go-karts, trampolining, laser tag, shopping, and more!
Available in Bendigo and Mildura.
For more tips on how to support your child without a disability check out our blog.
Carers Chill and Chat
Being a carer can be hugely rewarding but it can also be demanding, lonely and even confusing.
We understand that sometimes you need a break to recharge and enjoy the company of people who understand what it’s like to be a carer.
That’s why Chill and Chat provides a safe, relaxed space to connect with other carers in your local area, share your experience and support each other over a delicious coffee.
Mildura group coming soon.
Home and Community Care (HACC) program
Our carers’ programs and support groups are generally funded under the Home and Community Care (HACC) program. Although, small co-payments are sometimes applicable.