17 October 2018
National Carers Week – By Interchange Australia Consultant, Wendy Hughes
National Carers Week is being observed from the 14th October to 20th October this year. National Carers Week is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution unpaid carers make to our country.
There are over 2.7 million family and friend carers in Australia providing 36 million hours of care and support every week to a family member or friend who has a disability, mental illness, drug and/or alcohol dependency, chronic condition, terminal illness or who is frail. The replacement value of that unpaid care is $1.1 billion per week.*
Carers come in all shapes, sizes and ages and provide assistance to their loved one in a range of ways, including feeding, dressing, bathing, toileting, lifting and moving, administering medications, taking them on outings and assisting them with tasks such as shopping, banking and outings.
Every carer has their own unique set of responsibilities, however, they all share similar emotional, physical and financial experiences due to their role as a carer. These experiences can be all- consuming and can put the life of the carer on hold.
Being a carer can be lonely and hard, and often, they receive little in the way of support from family and friends – no-one seems to understand.
With the introduction of support services such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and Home Care Packages (HCP), supports are client focused, but they all have restrictions in relation to the amount of support that can be delivered. These supports provide carers with some respite, but it is often not enough.
What can you do to assist or make the everyday caring role of someone you know a little easier? Often, what they need is just a break. You may be able to give them that break by dedicating some time during the week to looking after the person that they usually care for, but on the other hand, many of us are time poor and are not in a position to make this commitment. An alternative is to consider private care options.
Interchange Australia’s private care arm, Avec Care, provides a wide range of services, including personal care, domestic assistance, medication support, social support, transport, meal preparation, home maintenance, daytime and overnight respite, hospital to home support, occupational therapy and navigation and service assistance.
Arranging additional private services such as respite for a morning, an afternoon, a full day or even for just a couple of hours may seem like just a small gift, but to the carer, having some time to themselves may be what enables them to continue in their caring role which is a very big gift indeed.
To learn more about Avec Care’s wide range of private services, please call 1300 112 334 or visit the Avec Care website.