THE festive season is a time to spend with loved ones.
But for some it is a reminder of how cruel and hard life can be.
For those caring for injured, disabled or sick loved ones, this time of year means juggling a lot of things.
But there are answers to alleviate the pressures and give carers a break from the 24 hour a day, seven days a week job.
Whether it is to give you time to do the shopping, get a haircut or take a much-needed holiday, Your Home Care is one solution.
For Maroochydore woman Christine, caring for her husband who suffers from dementia, it is her life, but she needed a break.
The 76-year-old remembered a newspaper clipping about a business offering a sabbatical and gave them a call.
Christine spoke with Linda Delamotte, managing director of Your Home Care about the situation and her husband's needs.
Although he is only in the early stages of the disease he is unable to properly administer his medication, lock up the house or cook for himself.
"Linda was very, very, thorough. I knew I didn't have to worry about my husband when I was away - he was in good hands," Ms Delamotte said.
Your Home Care is an individualised home nursing service dedicated to helping families manage the stress of injury or illness of people of all ages.
The business employs 12 qualified staff, made up of personal carers, enrolled nurses and registered nurses.
Christine said she would recommend it to anyone who was caring for a loved one, whether they needed continuous help or just occasional assistance.
Ms Delamotte said her work as a registered nurse made her aware of the gap between being hospitalised and returning to full health.
She said hospitals were overflowing with the elderly and terminally ill and the healthcare system needed a service for people discharged from hospital but still in need of help.
"People are discharged early to free up space and are cared for by their families in their homes, with no assistance," she said.
"We have an aging population and an ever increasing amount of chronic illness - the health care system can't cope, so we are taking some of the strain."
David Neale, 43, a registered nurse with 20 years experience, started working with Ms Delamotte last month after realising he could be more help outside the hospital system.
"The business puts registered nurses into the community," he said.
"It frees up beds and gives carers much-needed support."
There is government funding to cover Your Home Care for disabled or elderly people, but clients outside these categories have to self-fund the expenses of $35 an hour for a personal carer or $77 an hour for a registered nurse.
There are some private medical rebates.
Visit www.yourhomecare.net.au or phone 1300 023 321.
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