National Carers Week 2021 – What is a Carer?

This week is Carers Week where Australia will celebrate Carers in all their forms.

There are more than 2.65 million Carers in Australia, which means about 1 in 11 people in Australia are Carers.

Carers are people who look after someone who needs help with their day-to-day living.

There are so many different ways people become Carers as it could happen suddenly, it could be due to an accident or illness, or you could just be supporting a person out and then it becomes more permanent.

Carers are not just limited to adults, as children under the age of 25 years, are also called Carers but young Carers.

The definition for Carer (under the Australian Government Carer Recognition Act 2010) is someone who gives care and support to a relative or friend who: has a disability, has a medical condition (terminal or chronic illness, has a mental illness or is frail because they are old).

Carers support with daily activities which include but not limited to preparing meals, bathing, dressing, taking medication, going to the toilet and sometimes even moving around.

Some Carers only support occasionally and that could be to help with such tasks as transportation, shopping, or housework.

Some people provide care all the time, while others do so only occasionally. Some Carers look after people who are mostly independent but might need help with tasks such as banking, transport, shopping or housework.

Not every Carer is the same or have the same responsibilities. Grandparents could be Carers of grandchildren, children could care for their parents, husbands care for their wives or wives care for their husbands, family supporting families, friends supporting friends.

To be a Carer is such a significant role in our community and we couldn’t get through without the many Carers we have in Australia. It is an amazing role you all take on every day of your life and we thank you for your service to your family and friends.

The role of the Carer is so incredibly important however it can impact the life and wellbeing of the Carer.  There are several support services in Queensland which focus on supporting the Carer.  If you would like to explore these supports, you can contact the Seniors Enquiry Line on 1300 135 500.