All of us live in communities. Communities are not just the geographic place we live. They reflect how we live, who we work with and who we spend time with. Often when people are seriously ill, they prefer to be at home. People they know can help provide their care and social support. This may be their GP and community nurses. It will also be their family, friends, neighbours and acquaintances.
In Australia, over 2 million people are carers. They provide care for children, or for adults and older people. Care is often provided for someone with a chronic or life limiting illness. Being able to stay at home with a serious illness usually requires the help of family members or friends. Without this help, care at home would be very difficult.
Caring for someone at home can be demanding. It can be even harder if the carer is older or has heath concerns as well. Some carers may have a job or a young family.
Caring can come at a cost to the caregiver. Carers often feel exhausted. They can be isolated. They man feel they have taken on too much. They may neglect their own health and wellbeing. They may not take work opportunities.
However, caring at home can also be rewarding.
This can be true for the patient, caregiver and family.