This week we are celebrating Carers Week across Australia. Carers are tireless supporters of their loved ones. We had a conversation with Manjit Kaur, who is the mum of 18-year-old SSI Ability Links participant Jasamit.
Manjit is one example of the vital and selfless contribution that millions of carers around Australia make for their communities and loved ones. Carers Week is a great opportunity to celebrate them and acknowledge the amazing and loving work they do every day.
Manjit shares her story
Jasamit was diagnosed with a mild intellectual disability when he was three years old. At that time, we joined a playgroup for kids with disabilities and that opened a new world for me. Being able to talk with people that were on the same journey as us, sharing experiences, and having that peer support, has been very important for us to support Jasamit.
Fifteen years later, I still keep in contact with some of the people that were part of that group. Now, we have other spaces, like basketball, where we get the chance to share time and have chats with other families.
Being a carer can be challenging; I look for ways to look after myself, because when I feel good, I find better ways of helping my son. The best way I find to look after myself is to remain patient and calm, and go for walks; walking allows me to dedicate time to myself.
I spend a lot of time taking Jasamit to different places. He plays basketball and has different appointments throughout the week. I love helping him, and my best satisfaction is when he succeeds on completing his tasks.
I am the primary carer, but I wouldn’t be able to do this without the support of my family and friends. We are a network, and if I can’t do it, there is always someone to help. The support I have received in the last years from SSI Ability Links Linker Sonal has also been very helpful. She provided very important information, and guided me through different options to improve my son’s quality of life.
This is a journey. I have learned so much from experience, research and never taking the first opinion as the right one.
We carers work long hours and never complain. We put big dedication to care for our loved ones, and it’s absolutely worth it. Sometimes it can be hard, but it is so rewarding to have the opportunity to support him in leading a better life.