October 15 – 23 is Carers Week, a week where we take the time to recognise, raise awareness of, and celebrate the 2.65 million unpaid carers in Australia. You can learn more about Carers Week, and what going on in your area here.
So, who are our carers?
A carer is someone who provides care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, a medical condition, mental illness or who is frail due to age – and anyone can be a carer.
According to the ABS Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (2018), primary carers (people who provide care every day) are more likely to be female and live in low-income households, and more than one-third of primary carers have a disability.
Many don’t see themselves as carers. They are just children, parents, grandparents, partners, relatives, or friends who care for someone close to them. They become carers in different ways. They might start helping someone out bit by bit, or maybe there’s a sudden event, like an accident, or illness. And although being a carer has its rewards, it can also be tiring, and isolating.
Supporting carers to manage these challenges can make a big difference in their lives and improve their overall health and well-being. If you’re a carer, you can get help and support through LiveBetter’s Carer Gateway.
Carer Gateway is an Australian Government initiative that helps unpaid carers get the support they need before they reach crisis point, and offers Carers a range of supports including counselling, coaching, emergency respite, peer support, online skills courses, and tailored support packages.
Carer Gateway supports carers to take a step back and remember to take care of themselves too.
For further information on Carer Gateway, or to register for support, call 1800 422 737 Monday – Friday, 8 am – 5 pm or visit carergateway.gov.au