Dolly's story

2 minute read

Dolly cares for her 2 daughters – Gemma who has a mental health condition, and Sheena who has an intellectual disability. She finds respite helps her to enjoy caring again when she comes back home.

Video duration 1:46

Dolly: I care for two of my daughters Gemma, she is 33 now with a mental illness. I also care for Sheena, she’s now 32 and she has an intellectual disability. Four years ago I realised that I was doing a care role I was also a working mum, so I was quite busy. So I thought you know what it’s time for me to step back and start looking after my own.

It’s pretty much 24/7, around the clock. Gemma had a really massive breakdown. She cannot handle all the pressure, so I do the cooking, I do the washing, I basically do the cleaning. Sheena does need a lot of guidance and support in her everyday living.

There’s times where it does get tough, and you think ‘enough’s enough’, you know, I’m tired, I’m mentally drained, I’m physically drained.

Leisha (Dolly's sister): If you’ve got that assistance around you, you’ve got more sort of energy to provide them with the care that they need.

Dolly: The respite is fantastic. I’ve had quite a couple of trips away. I can come back home and feel like I’ve been rejuvenated to be able to enjoy doing what I do.

Jemma and Sheena both have been quite accepted into the community. Just being involved with mob you know, really does help to say that, you know, I’m not alone.

I think carers play a pretty big role in lives. I teach my daughters about their strength and who they are. I just like to see my daughters be happy within themselves to know that they have got a mum as a carer.