Carer Care Inc.

During a three month voluntary placement, I witnessed those who were working in professional roles giving ‚Äėtheir all,‚Äô‚Ķ. working long hours‚Ķ‚Ķ using their own resources to assist those in need and‚Ķ. placing priority on those they were helping at the expense of their own needs, their relationships including their partners and families.¬† Each being stretched day by day, far more than was sustainable.

Working with community members (in a community development model) a poster was made on calico with potatoes as the stamps and acrylic paint in a village in Decanten. The concept was to show the need for practitioners to manage their own self care, so that they could assist others and so that the impact would positively benefit others in the community.

On another occasion and with a different community, I met with a Pastor in Bacolod City who identified¬† that there was a need in his community and his country to train and support at least 50 leaders to be skilled in managing their own self care and so that¬† they could return to their own communities to train and support others. This would enable the longevity of pastors, health care professionals, child protection, social workers, counsellors and others to work more effectively and over a longer span of time‚Ķ.. than‚Ķ. if they were emotionally exhausted and ‚Äėburnt out‚Äô. We spent time drawing the concept on the whiteboard.¬† I was able to grasp and believe it was¬† an important need and yet ‚ĶI could not see how to assist or be involved especially from Australia.

I witnessed their emotional exhaustion and that the level of support and the quality of that support to those they were caring for was gradually declining over time. This was far from their intention and often, far from their own awareness. They were so involved in the care they were providing to others and because the need was so great, compassion fatigue was creeping in.

The seed was planted  to do something, to find a way. There was a tug of war in my heart and yet I could not think of a way to manage the practicalities of what could be done, particularly with limited resources.

The idea has been 'germinating' for many years, not knowing how to put it all together. If I took on the role to be caring for all of those in need (so that they could care for others), I too would be in that same position of those that I witnessed…it would be a vicious cycle and there would only be short term effective results. 

What I do know is that the needs of many cannot be met by the efforts of one.

What I also know is that those who continue to work endlessly while devaluing their own need for self-care do not last the distance, they may sprint, they may do wonderful things for many in the short term BUT there is an enormous cost to their own well-being and to their relationships and other aspects of their life. 

On my return from the voluntary placement, I worked in a palliative care setting for seven years and started to notice a familiar theme. Hospital staff were  giving to others, giving emotional support from a place of being 'near empty', of placing the patient needs often over their own needs for self care and sometimes at the expense of the health workers own family. This has been accentuated in the health sector as the demands of the pandemic continue.   

What is a common practice of caring for others, can quickly lead to emotional exhaustion and psychological fatigue.

"I grew up being taught that focusing on your own needs was selfish, indulgent and that others were more important, more worthy and in greater need and that we should at least try to assist others even at the expense of our own needs. This belief was ingrained in me for many years. It always was about others and not about me, in reality it was a belief of unworthiness…of putting your own needs aside for others." 
- Dr Rhonda Emonson

This same thinking is what I have been observing, particularly in the health care sector and it does not ‚Äėsit well with me‚Äô‚Ķit does not make sense and yet up until now, I did not know what to replace that thinking with. Managing our own self care and self compassion even in our society today, remains as¬† self-indulgence or narcissistic and for others as being selfish and for some as un scriptural.

 Pastoral care workers, nurses, child protection workers, doctors, aid workers, welfare workers, counsellors who care for others in their professional role-often take very little time to manage their own self care.

 That concept and the impact of witnessing so many professionals experiencing emotional exhaustion was the seed to start Carer Care Inc.

A not for profit organization, governed by a Board of five professionals and adherence to all the necessary regulations was implemented to proactively reduce the impact of emotional exhaustion.

Particularly for those who professionally care for others AND who live in remote locations where they are geographically and financially disadvantaged and yet have the same needs as other practitioners who can access necessary support.

Participants who successfully meet the scholarship criteria, are offered subsidised access to training, coaching and self care programs.

The ethos of Carer Care Inc. is (in part) to meet the need where the need is by providing training, coaching and self care programs, regardless of geographical location thanks to financial donations, applying for grants and 10% of profits received from other entities directly supporting the work of Carer Care Inc.

As we know, it is more effective to work proactively rather than waiting until clients present for treatment.

Carer Care Inc. provides training, coaching and self care programs nationally and internationally.

All training programs offered via Carer Care International are available to Carer Care Inc. with part fee subsidy offered to successful Scholarship applicants. * Conditions apply.

All programs and services provided by Carer Care Inc. are possible because of donations, the generosity of others, bequeaths, by applying for grants, by 10% donation of the profits from Carer Care International and other entities to Carer Care Inc. and by good will from the general public.

We need your support to continue this valuable work. If you would like to speak with Carer Care Inc. about a donation please click the link below and we will contact you directly.

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Thank You

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