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…reliable support for me and my husband that enables me to take a break from caring once in a while.


i see CARER RESPITE: YVONNE’S STORY


FOR SEVEN YEARS, PORT LINCOLN RESIDENT YVONNE HAS BEEN THE PRIMARY CARER FOR HER HUSBAND, BARRY, WHO HAS DEMENTIA. IT’S BEEN A STRESSFUL AND DEMANDING ROLE, BUT ONE MADE A LITTLE EASIER WITH SUPPORT FROM UNITING COMMUNITIES.


“It’s so sad seeing your partner go through this,” says Yvonne. “Barry’s always been active and very community-minded. We’ll have been married for 60 years this year.”


When Yvonne began to struggle looking after Barry on her own, she knew she needed to find help. But finding carer support in a regional area wasn’t easy, until she heard about Uniting Communities.


“It go to a stage where I couldn’t leave him alone at home for any length of time,” she says. “It was very stressful.


“Uniting Communities has been absolutely wonderful. They have given us so much wonderful support; I don’t know what I would have done without them.”


The Uniting Communities team has provided in-home support, respite, day care and day trips for Barry, to enable Yvonne to take a break and leave the house.


“The staff in the Port Lincoln office deserve a medal!” says Yvonne. “They would organise to come and sit with Barry so that I could go and play bowls, and they would also take him out to lunch once a month so that I could have a Saturday afternoon off.


“Any time I needed it, they would come and support me.”


Yvonne says having a break from her caring role every now and again has kept her going and given her the chance to reconnect with others and with activities she enjoys.





It was very important having that time to myself, because it refreshed me,” she says. “Just to be able to go out and be amongst other people and focus on myself for two or three hours – I don’t know how I would have coped without it.”


While Barry has recently gone into full-time residential care, Yvonne is still thankful for all the help she received from the Uniting Communities while he was at home.


“I wouldn’t have managed without them,” she says. “The staff have to put up with lots of things – it’s a very difficult job. But they always turned up with a smile on their face.”


Uniting Communities Annual Report 2016 | 25


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