What are the support options for in-home carers?

The Sandwich Generation seeking help to manage care for older parents.

Elderly woman and adult daughter carer drinking tea at home

Many older Australians may wish to stay at home for as long as possible rather than enter residential or aged care, but how does this affect family members taking on the role of carer?

Australia’s rapidly ageing population will mean there is an increase in the number of middle-aged Australians caring for their elderly parents as well as their own partners, children, work and social lives. These carers are known as the ‘sandwich generation’ – and the increased demand for in-home care has them scrambling for support.

It is estimated that around 1.5 million people exist within this ‘generation’. Around 70 per cent of older Australians want to spend their last years at home, but only 14 per cent will see this wish come to fruition.

And although it is usually more cost-effective to remain at home with support, it still comes at a cost to the lives of carers.

According to Dr Peter Hanley, Managing Director of National Care Management: “There are important steps to take if you are juggling caring responsibilities and work commitments in order to avoid burning out. As a family carer, maintaining your own health and wellbeing is a key element, as are nurturing supportive social connections and setting realistic expectations for yourself. Sharing responsibility with others is also important – this can include calling on other family members as well as drawing on external service providers to share the burden.

“Most of us will eventually need to get involved in the day-to-day arrangements of the care for our elderly parents. Some parents may have made provision for aged care or have assets that can cover the cost. But there are still questions around how the care will be coordinated and who will take on that task.”

Currently, there are only 80,000 Government-funded Home Care Packages and 207,000 subsidised residential care places. There are approximately 3.7 million Australians aged 65 and over, with that number expected to reach 6.3 million in the next 20 years.

As a result, many families are choosing to pay for private co-ordination of in-home care services, to help share the burden carried by family carers and ensure the important matters are well looked after.

Do you have any experience with private in-home care services? Why not share your thoughts with our members?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    12th Sep 2016
    I am an in home carer , i care for mum and daughter also my father and brother until they died I am in a crisis now facing eviction because I was trying to down size all the stuff when a realtor came to take pictures to sell the place. so Im accused of the place being dirty and messy. ( first time in a 10 year rental history) I get no domestic help , nothing. any wonder im on two lots of anti depressant. the government pays me 2.95 an hour no superannuation.
    12th Sep 2016
    That's absolutely pathetic!
    12th Sep 2016
    tisme, the law does not allow this to happen. You cannot be evicted just like that. It has to go through due process and can take months and months through NCAT (in NSW) and in these circumstances the owner/agent would in all likelihood lose. However, as they are selling the property you will have to move anyway so I am not sure I would bother fighting except to preserve a 'good tenant' rating should there be an intention to rent in the future. Good luck.

    Contact you local tenancy tribunal for advice and help (it is usually free).
    13th Sep 2016
    Carers save the Gov Zillions! god love em...they should be paid a full time wage if u ask me, they also develop their own health issues!!!
    12th Sep 2016
    thats why i think the realtor who has to sell this place told my rental realtor that the house was messy n dirty , my lease isnt up till next april and the owner wants to sell. i dont have the strength to fight anymore , 30 years of caring for various family plus all the fights n battles im burned out ( diagnosed )
    Star Trekker
    12th Sep 2016
    I care for my husband (heart problems) and 2 children (1 Autistic & the other with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome) I get the wife's pension and 2 x Carer's Allowance. I also suffer from EDS and have had parts of my spine fused. I get help from various agencies in crisis moments but not ongoing help. I get $2.69 p/hour based on 24 hrs/day, 7days/week (no super) This is counting all income from pension and allowances.
    13th Sep 2016
    unfortunately carers arent recognised as workers under Australian law i was denied legal help because of that
    15th Sep 2016
    I am a past carer and the author of "Little Book of Care: caring for yourself whilst caring for someone else". I wrote this based on my experiences and awareness of self-care. Anyone wishing to purchase a copy can do so by phoning me on 0408 002266.

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