The journey for carers and supporters


The journey for carers and supporters
Carers can come in many forms. A carer could be your partner, spouse, family member, grandparents, or simply your friend or neighbour. Knowing that you have a person that cares for you and about you during a life changing time, is extremely important.

For many amputees’, Carers play an important role in providing physical and emotional support. Carers will often advocate for you, be your voice if you are feeling unable to speak up for yourself, they will listen to your fears and concerns and provide support that often no one else can.

Carers Australia state that ‘Carers are people who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue or who are frail aged.’[1]

Carers play a vital role in helping people to recover and provide support on a day to day basis. In fact, without carers, many people could struggle to deal with daily tasks. In Australia there are more than 2.7 million unpaid carers. [2]

Caring for someone

For many Carers’, the ‘role’ of caring can sometimes be stressful and sometimes demanding, especially if you have other responsibilities such as; children, family or work.

What does being a Carer mean?

Carers help with a variety of tasks such as: dressing, showering or providing transport. Carers also provide emotional support. Being a carer means that you are willing to give of your time to assist someone else.

What if I am new to being a ‘Carer?’

In the case of your loved one having an accident or injury; carers can often be thrown into the Carers role with little or no time to prepare. Similarly, you maybe be notified that your partner, spouse or parent is about to undergo life-changing surgery, such as an amputation and find yourself in a similar position. If you are feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to begin and/or how you can best assist and support your loved one speak to the people around you.

Where can I find help?

As a Carer there are a number of ways that you can find support:

  • If your loved one is in hospital or rehabilitation, request a meeting with the social worker. The social worker will help you to navigate pathways moving forward.
  • You may wish to speak to a Peer Support Volunteer who has adapted to limb loss and understand the pathways forward. You also wish to speak to the partner of a Peer Support Volunteer as they are able to share the own journey with you.
  • Your local doctor can be a great resource when it comes to support. They will know of options to assist you and what supports are available to you in your local community.
  • Contact Carers Australia on 02 6122 9900 to find out what support is available

Seven Tips for Carers

  1. Do something for yourself that makes you happy.
  2. Meet up with other carers in a social setting; other carers can be a great source of support.
  3. Join a local carers support group
  4. See if there are local supports available to enable you to have a break. This may mean that someone else washes the floor or vacuums for you.
  5. Allow yourself to have a bad day, it’s okay.
  6. Take some time-out every now and then.
  7. Ask for and seek support when you need it.

We ask amputees…What did having a Carer mean for you?

“Knowing that my wife would support me through this journey made the decision to amputate my leg easier. I could not have gone through this without her support and knowing that she would always be there for me.” Andrew – Perth WA below knee amputee.
“My support network came from my friends and family. I was not in a relationship at the time of my accident and relied on the support of my parents and close friends – they always there beside me on my road to recovery.” Julie SA – above knee amputee.
“I was a long way from home when I had my amputation which made it difficult for family and friends to visit. I was lucky to be supported by my physiotherapist and social worker at rehab centre I attended. They were wonderful to me.” Gary NSW – below knee amputee
“I lost my arm in a workplace accident. I never thought that I would be able to do all of the things that I can do now. My wife was my rock. Without her support and encouragement, I don’t think I would have got through this.” Peter – Regional Victoria – below elbow amputee

Click here to visit the Limbs 4 Life Youtube channel to find out more.

[1] Carers Australia website (2019)
[2] Australian Bureau of Statistics (2015) Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers.