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19 May 2024

National Palliative Care Week is a time to recognise the efforts of all people at the heart of quality palliative care. 

This year we are reflecting on the vital role of carers supporting loved ones with life limiting conditions. 

Caring for a loved one in their time of need is something many of us will do at least once in our lifetime. It’s a role often taken on with love and without question, just like it was for Sheryl.

Sheryl began caring for her husband Jason in 2020 when he received the news no one wants to hear. He had Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), a form of terminal brain cancer. From day one, Sheryl took on this caring role wholeheartedly and with love. 

Sheryl continues to care for Jason at home since his treatment stopped working, and he was discharged from the hospital into Silverchain’s in home palliative care program earlier this year.

"We knew from the beginning that there was no cure and that it was just a matter of time. It was a huge shock," Sheryl said.

Many carers face symptoms of burnout due to long hours and physical and emotional demands. Sheryl adds that a carer facing burnout may miss important signs of deterioration in their loved one. 

"I think a lot of carers who go through something like this experience depression, whether it's recognisable or not. It's so important that people can get help early on. Being able to talk to someone who's been through it would have made a huge difference for Jason and me,"  

"I hate to think I could reach a point of burnout and that Jason would need to go to hospital purely because I wasn't coping with the demands of caring on my own," Sheryl said. 

At Silverchain, we care about the needs of our clients and their carers. We work together as a team, and developing innovative, evidence-based support for carers is a priority. 

Silverchain Foundation is raising funds to help fund important research to improve care for carers and make a real difference for people like Sheryl. Find out how you can support better care for carers at silverchain.org.au/foundation/appeal 



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