Real Carers Real Stories – Nidhi
Nidhi, who lives with cerebral palsy and mild vision impairment, is a carer for her former partner and now friend, who himself is vision impaired. He is also in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction, has depression and lives with a painful physical disability.
Aged 37, Nidhi, speaks Hindi and came to Australia from India in 2000. She has lived in regional Australia and more recently settled in Sydney.
Although Nidhi’s former partner still lives in regional Australia, she continues to provide important emotional support and practical care via telephone at least four days per week.
This remote support is quite diverse.
'It really depends upon his needs at specific times,' says Nidhi. 'It is so important for him to know that I am there when he needs me.
'Sometimes I provide very practical help by searching for available services in his local area. Other times I provide mental health support or help him with his decision making.'
Providing this level of remote support has made Nidhi very aware of the need for self-care.
'Not only do I get emotional support from other women in similar circumstances, but I also know that I can ring Carer Gateway and get the assistance I need to keep me going.'
Nidhi first came to know about Carer Gateway through Carers NSW. By calling the 1800 422 737 number, Nidhi was able to access counselling and mentoring services that were specifically designed for her and helped her better support her friend.
'I like the fact that I can talk to someone on the phone, which makes the service more personal and friendly. It also provides better clarity about all the different types of support that are available, and the best services and support for my circumstances.
'I was provided with great information about alcohol and drug dependency, what to expect, and how better to care and support loved ones in recovery.'
Nidhi was open about the cultural expectation to not accept help outside of the family. However, she believes that asking for help and support is the best way to provide quality care for loved ones.
'I strongly recommend that all carers explore Carer Gateway. There is a wide variety of services. The telephone operators are friendly and efficient and they can link you to TIS if you need language assistance.'