Care for carers

It’s National Carers Week, so learn how to take care of yourself if you’re a carer.

Care for carers

Caring for a loved one who has a disability or illness can be a rewarding and positive experience. However, it can also be an exhausting, thankless task, with ongoing demands potentially leading to frustration and feelings of fatigue, stress, anxiety and guilt. Know that you are not alone. Support and resources are available to help you. Here are some ideas:

  • take regular time out (known as ‘respite’) to do things you enjoy and to socialise
  • get some help in the home with subsidised services
  • talk to others about how you feel, and ask for help when it’s needed
  • seek professional help, such as counselling or joining a carers’ support group
  • be reasonable about what you can – and cannot – do
  • make a list prioritising and organising what you need to do
  • look out for signs that you’re becoming stressed and plan what to do if this happens
  • understand your legal and financial rights as a carer
  • realise that you are doing your best, and go easy on yourself if you are having a bad day.

For more ways to care for yourself, visit WebMD. While these resources may help you to take action on some of the above ideas:

Know that there is no shame in reaching out for help. Seeking the help you need will benefit both you and the person in your care.

Are you are carer? If so, do you have any ideas to share? What do you find the most challenging and/or helpful?


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    15th Oct 2015
    sounds great doesnt it ?? what happens to carers when they are over 55 their caring days are coming to an end and or they are looking towards retirement ?? what retirement ?? a discussion between carers exposed the very real issue of ending up on the streets due to lack of housing. thier own health being so destroyed by caring without the help they need they are not able to go back to work. how about giving carers the help they need ?? like recognising them as workers , paying them more than 2.50 an hour etc
    15th Oct 2015
    Carers who exit the workforce to support a loved one (or two in my case) get no real financial support. Yes they get a carer payment and maybe an allowance, but what about loans that you need to continue paying. Yes you get concession for utilities and rego, but if you are a home owner with a mortgage, can't get rent assistance nor can you get a loan at reduced rates. No work, may as well swim with the hungry loan sharks.

    15th Oct 2015
    No one seems to care about the carers.
    15th Oct 2015
    Just read National Seniors article that new Social Services Minister Christian Porter says the growth in income support for unpaid carers is unsustainable. It has been growing 14% per year for the past decade and should be restrained. Carers Australia describe this as 'disturbing'. This safety net is now under threat. Nice timing considering it is Carers Week.
    15th Oct 2015
    If the government don't want to pay carers payment, then they should start paying the minimum wage as workers of $15 hr. So if you care for your wife/husband/son/daughter 24 hr a day 365 days a yr that works out to $131,400 a year. As carers we would probably settle for an average wage of say $50,000 yr. THAT'S FAIR don't you think for how we mentally have to coup every day.
    16th Oct 2015
    Carers also get their carers payment cut when the person goes into hospital for pain control etc --even though as a carer I still lived in the hospital and spent everyday all day caring for my Husband in there, because if I didn't he was always left in a mess as I guess the Nurses didn't have the time.
    12th Sep 2016
    I am a worker, a Community Liaison/Troubleshooter working between the facility and the wider community, in an aged care facility and have been working in aged care for more than 36 years. It makes me sad to read a comment from one of your readers saying that "no one seems to care about carers". This is not a true statement given that the majority of workers working in the field of aged care who go the extra mile for those who are in their care and for their relatives. Our facility offers a great deal of respite for carers in our community of Caboolture, Qld and far beyond our community. My most important piece of advice to carers placing their loved ones into respite is to think of themselves as No 1 because if something happens to them then their loved ones do not have any choice other than to be placed permanently in care. I have talked with hundreds/possibly thousands of people over my time in aged care. Carers are the unsung heroes of our society.

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