Caring For Carers Program Helps Volunteers

Photo from Left: Mandy Beattie, Gail Baulch & Brooke Kelly
General
Thursday, 12 October 2017
As a volunteer with Portland District Health, Gail Baulch has helped people facing a cancer challenge along with their families.

Now she's been the recipient of a program helping people with cancer and their carers.

Mrs Baulch completed three months of the YMCA's Caring for Carers Program after finding out about the program through PDH cancer support nurse Brooke Kelly when her husband John was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer.

PDH exercise physiologist Amy Goetz designed a program for Mrs Baulch to follow and she says the experience was 100 per cent positive.

It was something I did for myself while John was having his treatment, she said. It was really good to do something and not worry about someone else.

Being a carer hasn't been too challenging because John is very independent, Mrs Baulch said. He's had stem cell treatment and is coming along all right. He's not so sick that he can’t do anything.

Mrs Baulch is a volunteer at PDH and one of her roles is supporting the palliative care department, which includes sitting with patients while the carer takes free time.

You don't have to be stuck at home; there are a lot of options and I'd recommend others take the Caring for Carers program.

Ms Kelly said the YMCA Caring for Carers program was excellent; giving people a break from their busy schedule with treatment and allowing carers to enjoy some down time from their role of supporting their loved one with cancer.

The initiative is supported by the Rotary Club of Portland Beats Cycle for Hope, a community fund raising program that aims to encourage people to take on challenges, live active lives and raise much needed funds for local cancer support programs, services and families dealing with cancer. Club member Frank Farnsworth said that each year some of the funds raised are donated to the YMCA's Caring for Carers Program. The Beats Cycle committee also helps publicise the YMCA Program and encourages potential recipients.

For more information about the program, please contact Ms Kelly on 55 210674.


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