Isabel’s story of caring with the right support


Isabel’s life changed almost immediately with the birth of her second daughter, Elise. Health complications meant that her newborn needed round-the-clock care and supervision, and home soon became the hospital.

For many months, taking care of their daughter’s additional needs took up to 20 hours a day for Isabel and her husband. Even the less demanding days had to be planned from start to finish. Juggling numerous health appointments whilst ensuring the children were fed, bathed, engaged

outdoors and enjoying themselves left little time for a personal life.

“When you become a carer as well as a parent, it detracts from everyone else,” Isabel shared.

“You can’t spend as much time with your husband or your own parents or your other child; it’s very all- consuming. There’s not much room for the spontaneous. There’s just a lot of planning involved to get through our day”.

But gradually, things started to get better.

Elise excelled in therapies and her curious personality began to shine through.

Isabel also gained a clearer understanding of her role as carer and started connecting with Carer Gateway and other community support programs. Carer Gateway provides essential support to carers, addressing the common issues of isolation, exhaustion and depression. Its free services,

including counselling, emergency respite, and peer support, significantly provide relief and assistance to the carer improving their wellbeing.

For Isabel and her family, small milestones, like being able to make it down to the shops as a family, marked steady progress in Elise’s development. And with Elise getting stronger, Isabel has got better at finding opportunities to take little breaks, such as enjoying a quiet meal or catching a coffee with a friend.

“It’s taken a lot of work to kind of get her from where she was a few months ago to where she is now. I want to keep doing that role up until she’s at the point where she can just go to playgroup or kinder or whatever, without an issue.

“It’s because I know I can give her the best chance at life by pouring in that time to her now and by pouring in that effort, it’s because I know her best.”