Its National Carers Week and ProActiv People would like give a massive THANK YOU to the 2.7 million unpaid carers in Australia who do an amazing job and who go above and beyond for the person they care for each and every day. National Carers week is an opportunity to raise community awareness among all Australians about the diversity of people who are carers and their caring roles.
There are over 2.7 million carers in Australia and National Carers Week recognises the outstanding role that carers play in the community which saves the country over $60 billion every year. They are an integral part and foundation of the health and community systems in Australia.
Carers provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who are aged or frail or who have a mental illness, a disability, chronic medical condition(s), terminal illness and or drug and alcohol issues.
Carers do many roles and one of the roles of a carer is to speak up for someone who may not be able to speak for themselves, or who may need help in getting the help or services they need. It can help those whose condition is likely to get worse to stay independent as long as possible.
The carer may need to advocate for the person they care for to make sure they get information, services or resources and that they are treated respectfully and professionally, protecting their rights making sure they are not discriminated against by staff and services whilst
Carers may manage the health and behaviour of the person they are caring for and work with the health and community services to get assistance with strategies.
Day to day caring for someone else can include transporting the individual to and from appointments and the carer may be working or studying too. This can take a toll on the carer and carers need to make sure that they are looking after themselves too. As a carer, you’ll often put the needs of the person you care for before your own needs. It’s important to look after your own physical and mental health so that you can keep caring for longer and provide better care. Pushing yourself puts strains on your health and stresses like this may cause you to get ill or catch every bug going around and become frustrated, resentful, anxious or angry.
Taking care of yourself every day is important to manage your stress. Make sure you take regular breaks and talking with someone or getting advice from professionals, friends or other carers can help talk through your concerns and worries. Taking a break and doing social activities away from the person you care for is important for your mental health. Connecting with other people and doing physically active activities is important for you too. You may find that you go through different stages in your caring role in how engaged you are with others outside the caring role. But ultimately take care of yourself and manage your stress.
Have you thought about getting help or coaching for your role as carer?
The Australian Government Carer Gateway website is all about meeting your needs as a carer. Their motto is
“Caring for you, while you care for someone”.
They have phone counselling, an online carer forum, and skills courses to give you support, skills and information.
Carers Australia is the organisation that advocates for unpaid carers and helps influence policies and services at a national level. Including ways to help employers become a carer friendly workplace and how an employer can support their workers who have caring responsibilities.
Young carers under 25 years also have support through the Young Carers Network where you can find support, information, learn about helpful tips and read about other young carers stories.
ProActiv People once again would like to thank all the carers across Australia for your dedication and support for those you care for.