Caring for our carers during COVID-19
Parents and caregivers give a lot to look after others, but they need selfcare too, especially with COVID-19 around which can cause extra stress.
Taking care of someone else 24/7 is hard and you need to be able to take breaks for your own wellbeing on a regular basis.
COVID-19 Community Connector Miringa Popham helps whānau connect with the supports available in the community. She says, “It’s normal for whānau to be feeling life pressures because it has been made worse by COVID-19 impacts. It takes its toll on your mental health which in turn causes physical exhaustion.
“We are seeing situations where Mums are feeling stressed and are impacted by the viral issues making their tamariki māuiui. It’s especially hard when there is limited support available from family and friends as they become quite isolated. It can impact on routines and the ability to get out and about to get what they need.
“If you are not in the workforce you don’t have enough finances to support yourself which is already stressful enough. We’ve been making sure whānau get their maximum benefit entitlements because this relieves a bit of the pressure.”
If you are feeling stressed as a carer or know someone who needs support, there are some practical things you might be able to do. You can ask people you trust to spend time with the person or people you care for while you take a break. Or you could see if you are eligible to employ a support worker to spend time with the person or people you care for.
You can also keep an eye on wānanga and other activities happening that the person or people you care for can take part in.
Talk to your doctor or hauora provider or get together with your wider whānau or community support worker to see what options there are for your mental health needs.
Check out what funding is available to access support for respite and financial needs, or reach out to your local hauora provider to help you access support.
For more information about carer eligibility, visit the Work and Income website.
For types of respite support, visit the Ministry of Health website.
For help with carer costs, visit the carer support page of the Ministry of Health website.