Anyone can be a carer. You can be a carer if you look after someone who has disability, a medical condition, mental illness or is frail due to age. Across Australia, 1 in 11 people of any age look after someone who needs help with their day-to-day living. Carers selflessly provide support and help with daily activities, but who is helping carers care for themselves?
First introduced in 2015, Carer Gateway is an Australian Government initiative that provides free services and support to carers. And from 8 August 2022, Carer Gateway will be offering the free Better Life for Carers course online. This will be run by Your Side, who are in partnership with The Benevolent Society - a chosen Carer Gateway service provider.
We speak to the Better Life for Carers creator Lars Weber to understand how carers can benefit from the course and what they can expect from participating.
The Better Life for Carers course
Lars has been a carer for over 19 years and is an experienced lecturer, presenter, coach and consultant in the areas of personal development and leadership. He developed the Better Life for Carers course as a way for him to share his own experiences and learnings to improve other carers’ lives.
Over the course of six weeks, carers will work alongside Lars and other Carer Gateway Coaches to address their needs and ambitions in weekly workshops. These workshops have been designed to be participant-centred, interactive and practical to allow for the formation of specific, practical ideas for actions that can be taken by carers to initiate positive changes in their lives. Participants will be guided and supported by the facilitator, coach and their peers so they won’t be taking this journey alone.
“I've been a carer for a long time, so I understand how difficult it can be for carers to find the time for personal development,” explains Lars.
“This course allows carers to learn from each other and make real, positive changes for a better, easier and hopefully happier life.”
The first two workshops introduce carers to fundamental concepts on mindfulness, self-identity and how thoughts can impact on feelings. By looking inward through introspective awareness, carers can discover the barriers that prevent them from achieving practical and positive change. Further workshops equip carers with the skillset to set goals and work towards achieving them whilst forming strong relationships with each other to motivate them forward.
“Relationship building is a key part of this course,” says Lars. “Over the six weeks, they’ll connect with each other, share their stories, challenges and ideas to form a support network.”
“I’m not hosting the course to tell carers what they need to do. Instead, I’m acting as a facilitator to help guide carers in their journey towards a better life. Whether their goals are big or small, I can help break them into small, achievable targets that feed into the bigger picture.”
This is the first time that Lars is running the course with Carer Gateway, however he has successfully hosted courses over the past three years.
“I’ve seen a lot of success in the groups I’ve facilitated in the past. A group that I hosted about a year ago continues to keep in touch and check-in on each other. Carers participating may not completely achieve their goals in the six week course, but they’ll develop lifelong skills for achieving the realistic life they choose.”
The Better Life for Carers course commences 8 August 2022 and runs for six weeks online. To sign up, fill in the registration form linked here.
To find out more about Carer Gateway, visit the Carer Gateway website here.