As we welcome autumn and the changing season, we are also seeing change beginning to take place in the way we are living with the pandemic. It is wonderful to see our community starting to reconnect with each other and have more opportunities to do this in ways where we can get together in person.
One of the biggest challenges carers had to face during the height of COVID-19 was the lack of social connection and the isolation brought about by the health restrictions. The last carer wellbeing survey reported 36% of carers in the ACT often feel lonely and isolated. This was an increase of 10% in 12 months, clearly being exacerbated in the last 12-18 months due to COVID-19. I want to acknowledge that while some of us are feeling able to connect in person and re-engage in social activities, some carers and the people they care for are still isolated and we need to keep reaching out to these people to ensure they are not feeling even more lonely than they previously were. To this end we will keep delivering programs online and in person so that people can connect in ways that they feel comfortable.
If you are feeling comfortable to be out of the home environment, I encourage you to reconnect in person with family and friends, and the broader community. One of the pillars in building positive wellbeing is connection, and studies have shown that developing healthy social relationships significantly increases our feelings of happiness, security, belonging and self-worth. You can start doing this in small steps, such as catching up with a friend over coffee, visiting a loved one or planning a family walk to see the season’s colours slowly changing.
We are presently taking advantage of the budget cycle to have meaningful conversations with our MLAs to build more awareness about caring relationships and the impact these have on the everyday lives of carers. In these conversations, we are consistently advocating for significant changes in programs and policies to better support carers in all aspects such as services, education, employment and many more.
We are always here to provide support and assistance anytime you need it. Please do not hesitate to call on us at (02) 6296 9900 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if we can be of help in any way.
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