It is important to take the time to thank all carers for continually being there and for providing support to their loved ones. It is also important to ask how we can continue to assist them, so that they and those they care for are able to live full and happy lives.
Ingrid Kelly is the full-time carer and parent to her son Jake, who is 11 years old and not only lives with autism, but also cerebral palsy, vision impairment and a rare brain abnormality.
As a single mother, looking after Jake as well as her daughter Jessie, Ingrid has faced some very trying times. For Ingrid, Jake's autism is the hardest to manage, due to the challenging behaviors that Jake exhibits.
"Jake's screaming and self-harming behaviors isolated us from other families over time," Ingrid said. His behaviors were very confronting to witness and most people felt uncomfortable and didn't know how to respond. So not only did the invitations to events and parties stop, but friends and acquaintances stopped calling in to see us. Even mundane things like weekly grocery shopping became impossible. We needed help to change this situation because my children deserved a better life than this."
Ingrid found what she calls her saving grace in Northcott Intensive Family Support Worker, Billie Preston. With the support of Billie, available to Ingrid 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Ingrid and her family's whole life changed, empowering Ingrid to be the loving mother she is and enabling Jake to achieve his very best.
"When you care for the carers you create an environment that helps a person with a disability to flourish." Ingrid said.
"I am glad Northcott focuses on the family as a whole and not just the person living with a disability. The holistic family approach sets Northcott apart from other organizations."
Ingrid is just one of many carers in Australia supporting someone with a disability, whose vital role in Australia's society will be acknowledged during Carer's Week 2009, held from18-24 October. Northcott Disability Services is a not-for-profit organization committed to not only providing support to people living with disability but also to their carers.
Kerry Stubbs, CEO of Northcott Disability Services, is committed to ensuring that Northcott provides relevant services that enable carers to continue to provide support to those with a disability.
"Carers play an essential role in our society, Ms Stubbs said. "As disability service providers we know that carers have one of the toughest jobs and their work often goes unnoticed by the broader community, although not by those they love and care for. It is important to take the time to thank all carers for continually being there and for providing support to their loved ones. It is also important to ask how we can continue to assist them, so that they and those they care for are able to live full and happy lives."
Northcott Disability Services was established as the NSW Society for Crippled Children in 1929 by the Rotary Club of Sydney in response to the growing number of children with polio and tuberculosis. In 2009, Northcott is currently celebrating its 80th anniversary. Today, Northcott Disability Services provides support to 8000 people with a broad range of disabilities and their families across NSW and the ACT by offering a range of quality programs which promote a genuinely inclusive society. For more information, contact (02) 9890 0100 or go to www.northcott.com.au
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