Program Benefits Grandparent Carers

September 14, 2016

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IOE’s Grandparent Carers program is providing opportunities for this seriously under-resourced and isolated group of carers.

Through the program, funded by Uniting Care Life Assist on a once off basis only, older carers have enjoyed a number of social outings, either with or without their children over the past few months. Outings to wineries, Melbourne Aquarium, coffee and dinner dates and an information session have provided some much needed socialisation and support. The carers have all reported feeling less isolated and have been able to set up both social and networking connections with others who share similar circumstances of caring for younger children with disabilities. Not only have carers been able to enjoy some fun and relaxation plus a break from their demanding care roles, they’ve been able to support each other by sharing their experiences and knowledge.

The most recent activity was a perfect example of what the program has been providing and was yet another wonderful outing for our older carers!

Karen Munzel, Grandparent Carers Program Coordinator, reported:

“Last Sunday 11 grandparent carers, their grandchildren, and some fantastic volunteers headed to the Peninsula Hot Springs for a day of unwinding, relaxation and total indulgence – what a great way to celebrate National Grandparents Day. In spite of predictions, the rain held off and the day was dry and quite mild, just perfect for the outdoor springs.

While staff and volunteers kept the children entertained – not difficult as they seemed to love relaxing in the warm water as much as the adults –  carers enjoyed lying back, soaking in the warm pools, chatting to one another and having some well earned child-free time.

For lunch we all enjoyed wood fired pizza in the complex’s café before more time soaking in the warm waters or chatting over coffee. Everyone enjoyed the experience of spending time together as family in such a relaxing environment.

We had some great feedback  from the day:  ‘I felt so relaxed’; ‘my grandchild told everyone at school about the day’; ‘we loved the chance to relax and chat but also the chance to spend time with our grandchildren doing something fun for all of us’; ‘I feel re-invigorated’ ”

All those carers who have participated in the program are hoping that future funding can be found so they can continue both the social activities and have possible involvement in future workshops and information sessions on issues relevant to grandparent carers.

While IOE continues to source possible funding avenues, we would be delighted to hear from any potential supporters of the program. Please contact Karen on 97585522 or karen.munzel@ioe.org.au

by Sandra Leehy

 

 

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