Anyone at any time can become a carer – a parent, a friend, a child, your partner, a sibling.
National Carers Week (October 15-21) is an opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding and diverse role Australia’s 2.7 million unpaid carers play in the lives of the loved ones they support.
At Centacare, we encourage you to take a moment this week to think about people you may know who have a caring role. Perhaps you are a carer yourself.
We acknowledge that those who are dedicated carers of our clients are there before, during and after our involvement.
For some, caring will be something they do over time as the health of a love one slowly deteriorates. Others may assume a caring role more suddenly, as a result of an accident, crisis or mental health challenge. A child may juggle school and the care of a sibling or parent.
We value carers maintaining an active role in their loved one’s life
– Lauren Lo Basso, Assistant Executive Manager, Disability Services
Every situation is different but the impact they have on the life of those they support is significant.
Lauren Lo Basso, Assistant Executive Manager of Centacare’s Disability Services, says working in partnership with carers leads to positive outcomes for clients.
“Centacare is grateful for and acknowledges the continuous role our client’s carers have in contributing to the quality of care through sharing their knowledge, experiences and expertise.
“We value carers maintaining an active role in their loved one’s life and believe that through building a strong partnership with Centacare, we are able to achieve positive outcomes for the individuals we support.’’
One in eight Australians is in a caring role, with around one in ten aged under 25 years.
Sharon Hoffman is General Manager Client Services at Davoren Park-based Northern Carers Network and says the role of one carer is often multiplied within a family, across generations.
“The percentage of parents of children with a disability or mental health challenge who are also caring for their own mother and father is increasing,’’ she says.
“There are complex issues in many families; some parents may be caring for more than one child in addition to an ageing parent. That impacts the whole family, including siblings who essentially then become young carers.’’
Parenting carers are the `invisible backbone’ of national schemes designed to place the care of loved ones in independent hands, Sharon says, highlighting the NDIS.
“The level of support they provide in making such systems sustainable is crucial but it is often overlooked. Carers are essential to the success of these schemes.
“They are almost a partner to those schemes, and the NDIS and aged care systems may not be sustainable if carers weren’t playing their role.
“If you know someone who is in a caring role, express your gratitude, and take the time to connect with them socially. It’s important that carers are supported too.’’
For more information about National Carers Week, please visit the campaign website.