Hastings heroes recognised during National Carers Week.

Aurora smiles for her grandmother, Carol Welch; just one of many unsung local heroes on National Carers Week.

Aurora smiles for her grandmother, Carol Welch; just one of many unsung local heroes on National Carers Week.

NATIONAL Carers Week offers the opportunity to recognise the unsung heroes of the Hastings community.

Carers Week runs from October 16-22 and is a campaign to raise awareness of the diversity of carers and caring roles.

Anyone at any time can become a carer and National Carers Week is an opportunity to raise community awareness among all Australians about the diversity of carers.

Carers make an enormous contribution to our communities as well as the national economy. Should all carers decide to stop performing their caring role, it would cost the country $60.3 billion per year to replace those supports – that’s over $1 billion per week.

In 2011, Carol’s husband, Len, passed away unexpectedly. As a result, her daughter, who had been very close to her father and was previously diagnosed with Asbergers, became too ill to care for her children. Carol, who is now 62, has taken on the role as full time carer for five-year-old Gabe and his little sister, eighteen month old Aurora.

Gabe has been diagnosed with high level Autism, whilst little Aurora septo-optic dysplasia, panhypopituitarism, visual impairment, cortical posterior cerebral artery infarction and diabetes insipidus. Aurora’s body temperature is regulated manually and they prepare well in advance for any scheduled appointments and medical requirements. As a result, Carol and the children don’t go out much.

Carol has enrolled in the Positive Parenting Program, which runs out of St Josephs Family Services. It provides parents with simple and practical strategies to help them build strong, healthy relationships and confidently manage their children’s behavior.  

Fitness fan, Sam Frumar with John Talamaivao, Disability Support Worker with Centacare’s Individual Support Options Program.

Fitness fan, Sam Frumar with John Talamaivao, Disability Support Worker with Centacare’s Individual Support Options Program.

Kim Frumar attributes good planning and respecting the lifestyle choices of her son, Sam, as the key to successfully progressing towards independent living.

Twenty five year old Sam has an intellectual disability and initially required full time care from his parents, Warren and Kim Frumar. As he grew and they aged, they realised that they would need a succession plan for Sam’s care.

“We felt that the people at Centacare would be the best agents to manage care for Sam, as they had an excellent network of service providers and, most importantly, genuinely cared about Sam’s welfare and his lifestyle choices,” she said.

“They made us feel like everything was done with love and attention to Sam’s needs, which gave us confidence to entrust them with our son’s well-being.”

Sam’s parents choose the level of care needed for Sam each week and have established an effective plan for their son’s future.

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