Freemasons on the Central Coast (FotCC) recently made a $6,300 donation to enable the purchase of a massage chair and garden furniture for the Carer Retreat at Gosford Hospital.
While most are aware of the wonderful work carried out informally by carers, there is often too little support available for the carers themselves.
These caring roles frequently come about little by little: helping out someone in need who has a disability, a medical or mental health condition, or simply being older and frail and in need of assistance with everyday living.
Such roles may gradually become more demanding as time goes by, and research shows that carers are more likely than other Australians to experience a significant range of health and wellbeing issues.
The Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD) is the only Local Health District within NSW to have a Carer Retreat offering a little respite for carers if they need a break from their caring role, or perhaps when the person they care for is in hospital.
The Carer Retreat is a small cottage across the road from Gosford Hospital.
A similar retreat being built at Wyong Hospital is due for completion in 2024.
The Retreat has one full-time manager and two part-time staff members who provide debriefs, information, referrals to appropriate services, free business facilities, WiFi, education, refreshments and general support.
While the Retreat offers comfortable lounges, staff felt that a massage chair would be a valuable adjunct to facilities, helping with both physical and mental relaxation for carers.
The CCLHD Work and Health Safety Consultant at Gosford Hospital provided specifications and quotes.
Once approval was received, Tia Covi, Manager of the Carer Support Unit/Carer Retreat followed a client’s suggestion and approached FotCC for financial help.
The FotCC were delighted to make this worthwhile donation for the purchase of the chosen massage chair plus suitable furniture enabling an outdoor area to be used for group discussions or general relaxation.