I’m allergic to plants

My name is Chloe, I am 19 and live in Western Australia. One unique thing about me is I’m allergic to some plants ha-ha.

I have been caring for my brother for 12 years. My brother has autism and has very high needs.  He requires assistance with every day asks. I help care because my parents can’t be there for him 24/7.

I love him to death so of course I will do things to help where I can and allow our family to function as normal as possible. However, I also have to help with toilet duties / other personal care aspects.

It makes me anxious sometimes, knowing someone else is caring for him other than myself or my mum because we obviously know him best and know how to approach situations he deals with. Knowing he has to sometimes be left to someone else’s care does make us feel anxious and worry about him at times depending.

Being a carer has changed my life because it has taught me how much we take for granted in our everyday abilities in healthy bodies. It has taught me to be patient and understanding. I enjoy the simple things in life. Seeing my brother happy over the smallest things brightens all of our moods.

I would cope better with my caring role if I learned how to be a bit at multitasking ha-ha. Sometimes I struggle to do the work and things I need to do when I have other responsibilities and worries on my mind regarding my brother.

I would like others to realise that life isn’t always easy. You never truly know what other families and people may be going through. Everyone should treat each other kindly as you never know what goes on behind closed doors in every household and what goods and bad they have been through. As well as this I think it’s important to make the most of life and be so grateful that we are healthy and living and don’t take for granted how lucky we are to be able to be carers and not need to be cared for ourselves personally.

My piece of advice to my fellow young carers is keep doing what you are doing! Because you are awesome and without you, the person you care for wouldn’t be the person they are today! It takes a strong, patient and beautiful person to care for others, and you should always remind yourself that you are incredible!

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