Caring for someone with a chronic disease can be challenging. To provide the best care, you need to look after yourself as well. That sometimes means reaching out for help – whether it’s financial, personal support, or respite care for your loved one.
There are great support networks and resources available around Australia for people caring for someone with a kidney disease. Some of these include:
Financial support – there are a number of options for carers needing financial support. Many of the payments are administered through Centrelink. You can read more in this booklet summarising the financial support available to carers.
Even if you’ve chosen to take on the extensive role of caring for your loved one with kidney disease, you can still burn out. It’s OK to accept help from family members and other loved ones. It’s also OK to reach out and specifically ask for it.
You may be the dialysis expert who has to perform that particular task, but there are still other ways people can help. Someone else doing things like housework, shopping and picking up the kids from school can make a huge difference.
Gather My Crew is a great online rostering system that makes coordinating support easy. You can ask for help through the tool, then your ‘Crew Members’ (friends, family members, neighbours, colleagues, and other loved ones) can choose what tasks to pick up. Gather My Crew also sends regular reminders and updates, so everyone is kept in the loop.
The system is easy to use and free! Check out the Gather My Crew website to find out more.
Another support option for carers is respite care. How that works will depend on what kind of dialysis your loved one is on.
For those who can afford it, a private dialysis nurse can also be another option for respite. You can engage with one through the Department of Veterans Affairs, or independently. Dialysis Australia also provides dialysis nurses for in-home care. You can call them on 1800 994 224 or visit the Dialysis Australia website to find out more.
The My Aged Care website also offers more information about respite care.