Anyone can become a carer, at any time. Ryan, who cares for his nephew who has specific needs, believes this whole-heartedly.
For Ryan, who lives in a Junction home in Prospect, caregiving is about compassion and lightening burdens.
Ryan explains that he finds fulfillment in making a positive impact on others’ lives.
“There’s a broad spectrum of carers, just as there are of people with different needs. Some carers focus on helping a single individual, while others provide a network of support to multiple people,” Ryan said.
“Being a carer means understanding and empathizing with the fact that everyone has something they’re struggling with, either big or small."
“We all have strengths and weaknesses,” he said.
Ryan believes that the benefits of caring go both ways.
“One thing I think those in need of special care really do for others, is requiring us to do our utmost to help them. This, in turn, helps us mature as people,” he said.
While fulfilling, Ryan also acknowledges that caring can be mentally taxing at times.
“While worthwhile, there are most certainly challenges to being a carer. Since the person you’re supporting may have trouble maintaining their dynamic in their day-to-day.”
Outside of his care responsibilities, Ryan believes that even the smallest actions, like offering well-wishes to a neighbour in need, can help.
“Simple acts of kindness, like a friendly greeting, can have a meaningful and positive impact,” he said.
He is adamant that being aware of other’s burdens and lightening them where possible, is something everyone should do.
“It is a role that we all should be a part of, even if it’s only in a very small way in someone else’s life.”
Carers week (15-21 October) celebrates the 2.65 million Australians who provide care and support to a family member or friend.