Caring for caregivers

13 February 2023

Professor Nancy Pachana from UQ’s School of Psychology spoke to ABC Radio Brisbane Afternoons about people stepping up as unpaid carers when their loved ones get sick.

The interview discussed how it can be rewarding but often thankless work and the resources people can access if they need support.

Professor Pachana said people who are caregivers are at increased risk of physical and mental illness.

“A lot of people think caregiving is not valued and often at times it is expected that a person gives this service,” Professor Pachana said.

“You do these things out of love, but love doesn’t buy the things you need to do that caregiving like unexpected bills, and this is not really compensated in our current system.

Professor Pachana says it’s critical to care for yourself as a caregiver.

“It is like in an airplane when the oxygen mask comes down and you have to help yourself before you help others,” Professor Pachana said.

“It can be really hard for caregivers to remember that because it feels in that moment selfish, but you must be able to do that otherwise you will suffer and the person you care for will suffer.”

The interview runs from approximately the 02:16:00 mark. 

Listen to the interview