Look around you. One in eight Canberrans is an unpaid carer looking after a family member or friend who is elderly or living with a disability or with long-term physical or mental health conditions. Chances are some of your work colleagues are carers. Unfortunately, the caring role is often unappreciated and unidentified. Recognising yourself as a ‘carer’ is the first step to getting the help and support you need to make your life easier.
Impact of Caring
Caring has a huge impact on a person’s ability to work, study and participate in the community. It can place enormous strain n the health and wellbeing of a carer, often leading to depression and anxiety if adequate support is not received.
Help is out there
The good news is that there is help available for unpaid carers. Carers ACT offers a wide range of services that can improve a carer’s life. These include short-term in-home assistance and replacement care, short-term residential respite in an aged care facility, NDIS coordination, counselling, advice, referrals, support groups, disability day programs, education and training seminars, recreational activities and retreats, and even speaking up for carers to make sure their views are heard. To many carers, Carers ACT is their lifeline. As numerous carers have said “I don’t know what I would have done without them”.
Educating and relaxing our carers
One of Carer’s ACT’s most popular support services is their monthly range of educational and recreational events which provide carers with the skills needed for their caring role and with opportunities for a much-needed social break. Improving a carer’s own mental health and wellbeing significantly improves both their ability to care and their relationship with their family member. Please see the website for details on upcoming events at www.carersact.org.au
Supporting young carers
Juggling the teenage years can be hard enough, but having to take on the ‘parenting’ role when a parent has a long-term physical or mental illness or disability can be overwhelming. Carers ACT’s ‘Young Carers Program’ supports these young teens in their caring role through various financial, social and educational initiatives.
If you, or someone you know, is a carer, please encourage them to call us on 1800 052 222 or visit our website for further information on ways we can support them.
Did you know?
- 1 in 8 Australians is a carer
- There are 2 young carers in every classroom
- Carers provide 1.9 billion hours of care each year
- Carers save our economy $60.3 billion each year
- 62,000 people in the ACT have a disability
- 78,000 people in the ACT have mental health needs
- Almost 1/5 of carers only have social contact once every 3 months