TAKE CARE: Donna Becker-Armstrong and Lyn Miller are supported by each other and Carers Queensland.
TAKE CARE: Donna Becker-Armstrong and Lyn Miller are supported by each other and Carers Queensland. John Gass Twecare

Helping hand for carers

CARERS have little time to think about the future when constantly faced by immediate problems.

A Planning for the Future Forum held at the Burleigh Heads Surf Life Saving Club during Carers Week gave these selfless souls the chance to do so, while sharing their experiences.

Jimboomba's Lyn Miller who cares for her 19-year- old son Justin said her advice for carers going forward was to be informed.

Justin has Prader-Willi syndrome which Mrs Miller said was a genetic disorder that caused, among other symptoms, the inability to feel a full stomach.

"The brain doesn't tell the stomach," she said. "Plus he has low muscle tone, an impaired intellect, and . . . challenging behaviour.

"With my husband Brian and son Jake, 14, we're all carers in one way or another."

She said Carers Queensland's Cheryl Seely and Natalie Setz, based at Palm Beach, visited nearby Beaudesert for meetings once a month.

"Carers Qld provides moral and emotional support and, if I have questions, I can always ring up and ask.

"They help with our disabled children directly, but we as carers need assistance too.

"At the moment medical needs for my son are $500 a month and I can keep in touch with the Palm Beach office and ask if they ever hear of new funding."

Donna Becker-Armstrong is also from Jimboomba and her 19-year-old daughter Clare has Asperger's syndrome.

"She's like a child, mentally, but she's smart and obsessed with wrestling at the moment," Ms Becker-Armstrong said.

"She's got a great nature - she's good with both the aged and the young - but she has fears, phobias and sensory processing problems with textures, smells and noises.

"My son Aaron, 25, he's the pillar and it's hard on him because he worries about what's going to happen to his mum and, consequently, his sister."

She and Mrs Miller encouraged other carers to go to meetings, become informed and contact Carers Queensland.

"Cheryl's an angel, she dry-cleans her wings," Ms Becker-Armstrong said.

"She has such a lot on her plate and we're out there in the sticks but she and Natalie never forget us."



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