We value and acknowledge carers as partners in healthcare. On this page you can find resources to support you on your carer journey.
Carer Support Program
Our Carer Support Program is committed to promoting carers as valued and respected partners in health care. We achieve this by educating and supporting health staff to identify and consult with carers and to recognise carer expertise.
Who is a carer?
A carer is someone – a family member, friend or neighbour – who regularly provides support to someone with a disability, chronic health condition, terminal illness, mental illness, or someone who is experiencing age related frailty.
Carers are not paid for their role, though they may receive a Centrelink allowance or payment.
Anyone, at any time throughout life, can become a carer. Carers are a very diverse group of people, of differing ages and backgrounds with each caring situation being unique.
Caring may involve a few hours assistance per week through to sustained 24-hour care. It may also involve balancing full or part time work with caring responsibilities.
A carer may help with a range of activities including personal care such as:
- showering or dressing
- social and emotional support
- meal preparation
- medication management
- financial management
- other aspects of the person’s daily life.
Tips for carers - taking care of yourself
Carers are vulnerable to stress because of the physical and emotional demands of caring. Stress may bring physical symptoms such as headaches or difficulty sleeping, anxiety or feeling very emotional.
Although it can be difficult, you need to consider your own needs as well as those of the person you are caring for. If your health begins to suffer, caring will become more difficult and it will not be easy to continue doing all the things you need to do.
The following tips about how to take better care of yourself may be helpful.
Resources for carers
If you need support, you can reach out to these services:
Further information and a range of fact sheets about caring are available from Carers NSW. They can provide information and advice about services that are available to carers, including emotional support and counselling. Call Carers NSW on (02) 9280 4744.
The Carer Gateway provides practical information about services and support that is available to carers both online and by phone. Carers can call 1800 422 737 Monday to Friday between 8.00am and 6.00pm for information about services and support.
The Carer Gateway website also provides information for a range of carers including young carers, older carers, working carers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers, and culturally and linguistically diverse carers.
NSW Family and Carer Mental Health Support Service
Support is available for the families and the carers of people with a mental illness.
The NSW Family and Carer Mental Health Program is a statewide program funded by the NSW Ministry of Health, and delivered in partnership between local health districts, the Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network and five specialist community managed organisations.
See the Southern NSW Local Health District Mental Health Family and Carer Information Guide for more helpful information and support services.