When someone in our lives undergoes a major illness, it’s easy to panic and focus only on their wellbeing. However, it’s important to acknowledge those who do the caring as well, be they health professionals, family members of friends. The commitment and dedication of carers saves lives – literally – and has the power to prevent people suffering from spiralling into despair.
When it comes to caring for carers, sometimes normal everyday things and small acts of kindness can bring the greatest comfort. Here are a few simple things you can say that could make all the difference:
• “How are you?”
• “What kind of day are you having?”
• “Do you feel like talking?”
• “Thank you for all your help.”
• “Can I bring you anything? Food, entertainment, warm clothes?”
• “Is there something I can do for you today?”
• “Do you feel like some company?”
Support groups and helplines are designed to offer a safe space to share experiences and ways of coping with grief.
- To find a counsellor or psychotherapist, go to pacfa.org.au, the national peak body that runs a register of qualified practitioners.
- If you’re depressed or just need to talk, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636. Both operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In New Zealand:
- To find a professional counsellor or psychotherapist in New Zealand, go to nzap.org.nz or talkingworks.co.nz