June 27, 2022

It’s a labour of love, but caring takes a toll

Exhausted. Stressed, overwhelmed, anxious and isolated.

These are the words that came up repeatedly in a recent survey conducted by SOURCE KIDS, an Australian magazine devoted to parents, carers and families of children with special needs.

A staggering 93% of respondents said their health has suffered as a result of their caring role. 

Our own relationships with client families reveal that this couldn’t be more true. Burnout is a real and present danger for parents managing the challenges of providing 24/7 care to a child with complex health needs and disability.

What is clear, is that parents and carers need help. Not more online courses, help lines or books to read on managing carer stress. They want hands on, real-life and practical help and support at home and in the community where it makes the most difference.

This is where Hannah’s House steps in. We provide in-home services that are designed to care for the child while delivering quality of life benefits to the whole family.

Or, if we’re being really honest, we’re trying to help keep our mums – the parent who is most often the primary caregiver – sane by giving them a break and time to refresh.

Research shows that even a few hours relief from the role of direct caregiving helps increase wellbeing and reduces burnout, fatigue, depression and anxiety.

“An hour of free time means the opportunity to regain my mental clarity in the midst of fatigue. I can take a breather from the constant pressure of ensuring the safety of my child. Some days are very long with no end to the stress and worries. One hour is so powerful because it allows me to switch off, reset and come back stronger. A refreshed mind goes a long way.”  Genevieve, Mum to Edward, 4 years, Cerebral Palsy

“Having a Support Worker from Hannah’s House has made the biggest difference to our lives. I am able to leave Manna for a few hours each week having peace of mind that she is being thoroughly looked after. Not only does this allow me to run every day errands that are difficult to do with a child with special needs, but this also gives me some downtime as well as special one-on-one time with my son.” – Patti, Mum to Manna, 2 years old, CDKL5 deficiency disorder

“An hour to know that there’s someone else taking over the care of Tekoa, it’s not just me, it gives my mind a rest. When I’m alone, my minds constantly ticking – ‘are his oxygen saturation levels ok, is his tube feeding going through’ – but I know once the carers are here, they’re on top of that so I can concentrate on other things.” – Maddison, Mum to Tekoa, 3 years old, bronchopulmonary and oropharyngeal dysplasia

While many of our families are receiving support via the NDIS, there are children who still fall through the cracks and families whose NDIS funding has been cut or doesn’t cover support at home.

Hannah’s House Respite Care Program is free to families who don’t have NDIS or who need extra help at different times of the year or when they are experiencing greater than usual stress. Through our team of registered nurses and support workers skilled in caring for children with complex needs, we give exhausted parents a much-needed break.

They can look after their own physical and mental health and wellbeing, safe in the knowledge that their child is being provided with expert care and is enjoying social interaction in the comfort of their own home.

We provide day and overnight care depending on the needs of each family. We provide rostered shifts over an agreed period of time that give parents anywhere from 4 to 8 hours back in their day or 10 hours overnight to get a good night’s sleep.

You can help ease the burden of care by donating to our Gift an Hour Appeal.

Please help our exhausted, stressed, overwhelmed and anxious parents to feel less isolated and more supported.

Hannah’s House is a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). We have Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status meaning all donations made to Hannah’s House of $2 and over are tax deductible. Upon donation you will receive a receipt to claim your tax-deduction.