Carers contributions recognised
As part of National Carers Week, from October 11 to 17 2020, Cancer Council Victoria is recognising and thanking carers across Victoria and particularly those Victorians caring for cancer patients.
More than 35,000 Victorians are diagnosed with cancer every year, with many carers also impacted by the disease.
Cancer Council Victoria CEO, Todd Harper, acknowledged the important role carers have in the community, especially through what has been a particularly difficult year.
“It’s been immensely challenging for carers during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have faced many obstacles in being able to care for their loved ones because of restrictions on visiting, border closures, health concerns and physical distancing rules.
“Thank you to everyone caring for a loved one. Your efforts are extraordinary, and we stand with you and celebrate you. There’s never been as many demands on carers, and it’s more important than ever that we recognise the role that carers have in supporting our communities through this year.”
Head of Strategy and Support at Cancer Council Victoria, Danielle Spence, said many carers of cancer patients are unaware that support is available for them too.
“The pandemic has complicated many aspects of what it means to be a carer, such as advocating for a loved one in hospital. Supporting someone through cancer is hard at the best of times – but throw into the mix a pandemic and all that COVID brings with it – makes it very difficult for carers to feel heard and supported. Our compassionate nurses can support you at this time and connect you with available supports and resources.”
Anyone impacted by cancer can contact Cancer Council’s information and support line on 13 11 20 or firstname.lastname@example.org to chat with experienced oncology nurses.
Gay, who is now a Cancer Connect Volunteer, said being a carer often means taking on multiple roles while balancing other demands such as work and children. She likes to remind the people she speaks to that being a carer is just about doing the best you can for the person you love.
“I cared for both my husbands through their cancer journeys, once while having cancer myself. Being a carer is not just one job, it’s a combination of many. Everyone worries if they are doing the right thing. But if you do the best you can, how can that not be right?” she said.
National Carers Week is a time to recognise the 2.65 million Australians who provide unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who have a disability, mental health condition, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue or who are aged.
A National Carers Week initiative is being delivered by Cancer Council Victoria and has been generously funded by DHHS.
Information for those caring for cancer patients can be found here https://www.cancervic.org.au/get-support/caring-for-someone-with-cancer/overview