Main Image: Ronnie Benbow from The Carers Foundation with Ken & Nicky. Listen : Ronnie speaks about the work of The Carers Foundation and the importance of caring for carers.
There are so many wonderful carers in our community, doing wonderful work supporting those who need it. But who supports the carers when they need help?
Ronnie Benbow is the co-founder of The Carers Foundation Australia along with her husband Michael.
They began running carer retreats for unpaid carers fifteen years ago when they realised that there was nowhere for carers to go when they were at breaking point.
Having worked as a Registered Nurse, and caring for a number of family members, Ronnie knows only too well the stress and exhaustion that carers are faced with.
“Carers are the ones who are hidden in society, people don’t think about the carers” Ronnie told 96five’s Ken & Nicky.
“All the focus is on the person with the disability or illness; people don’t stop to think and ask the carer how they are going.
“The carer is the one who is carrying the brunt of the work that they do and are just exhausted.”
Ronnie also said that the picture society paints of a carer can often be way off the mark.
“I’ve got carers as young as eight, helping with dishes and cleaning. That then rolls onto adolescence and I have a lot of young carers that have been caring since they were ten years old.
“I have carers who have missed out on their entire teenage years. So now they are angry, they’re not coping and they’re resentful that they’ve missed that part of their lives.”
After first dreaming of healing centre for carers as a young nurse, that dream has come to fruition with the provision of wellness programs through The Carers Foundation.
“We do one and three day programs where we focus on mental health; we provide different coping strategies for when they go back home as well as mental health resilience programs.”
You can listen to founder Ronnie Benbow speaking with Ken & Nicky in the audio player at the top of the page.