This article was updated on 25 July 2022.
For over eleven years, Paul P Winbanks was a cancer carer and then a palliative carer, to his beloved, late wife.
“There were very few resources written from a male carer’s experience,” he explains.
“I promised myself that I would ‘pay it forward’ after my wife died, to help isolated carers around the world, to know that they are not alone,” he says.
So Paul started his site Carer and Cancer, https://www.carerandcancer.com/, to help others who find themselves in the same situation as he did.
The site can help with:
- Discovering what works for each particular age group, even if some suggestions are in conflict with others
- Bite-sized suggestions responses – tips and tricks, so to speak – from people who are currently palliative carers and/or cancer carers
- Carer suggestions for assisting children and teenagers through the process
- What services in Australia help the carers?
- How carers survive after their loved one dies
- Cultural, diversity and inclusion considerations for carers – for example, LGBTQI, different nationalities, religious.
- Individual responses and suggestions from carers, rather than a one size fits all approach.
“My experience as a carer was guided by instinct, life experience and my change management background. I was unable to find people who had either the time or the energy, to share their experiences as carers online,” Paul says.
“But I am really keen to build a repository of carer responses.”
Maybe this will develop now, one of the strange silver linings to come from Covid-19.
A friend said this morning she now plays the card game 500 with her daughters in different parts of the world via electronic media – something they didn’t think to do before. Maybe this same change will happen in other areas – including support networks such as Paul’s.
To help each other in the often isolating work of caring for someone who is dying, carers might like to share their stories at Carer and Cancer’s ‘share your personal stories with us‘ link.
To learn more about carers looking after themselves read this nifty article from Carer’s Gateway.
And to learn about the broad range of help available for carers you must check out: Carers Australia.
If listening to a podcast is more your jam pop in your headphones and listen to The Secret Life of Carers with Jamila Rizvi. She talks to everyday Australians in carer roles.