Australia’s 2.7 million unpaid carers are well deserving of a national week of recognition.
With 1 in 8 Australians caring for a family member or friend who needs support due to disability, age, mental ill health, or long-term physical illness, National Carers Week (11-17 October 2020) recognises and celebrates the outstanding contribution unpaid carers make to our families and communities across Australia.
National Carers week also highlights the challenges that carers face and the supports available to them through programs provided by the Australian Government’s Carer Gateway, including carer support planning, counselling, peer support, carer directed support packages and emergency respite services.
Wellways Australia’s National Manager Carer Services, Rachael Lovelock said that carers like so many Australians are having to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 and the coronavirus pandemic. Many are conscious of the serious consequences COVID-19 may have on their care recipient and have often had to deal with stress and anxiety in isolation.
“Shut downs, lockdowns and physical isolation have not given many carers a moment’s break, and many are very concerned about the impact on services post-COVID, said Ms Lovelock.
“It’s more important than ever that we recognise the wonderful work carers do in the home and the community, and National Carers Week offers the perfect opportunity.
“We know carers need more support, not less and the supports offered through the Carer Gateway provide practical advice and support for all carers.
“Carers can be based in metropolitan, regional or remote areas, and all have access to carer support services in their own right,” Ms Lovelock said.
Ms Lovelock knows what it means to be a carer. Her carer journey started when she was very young and has seen her supporting loved ones across decades and generations. Her experiences have helped her to understand the plight of Australia’s unpaid carers and to champion the rights of carers, seeking to have them acknowledged, not merely as an aid to a care recipient but as individuals in their own right.
“Getting help early can make a big difference to a carer’s life, reducing carer stress and improving wellbeing,” said Ms Lovelock.
Whatever a carer’s circumstances, the Carer Gateway is a great, free resource available to all carers.
For comment contact:
Rachael Lovelock, Wellways National Manager Carer Services Project
firstname.lastname@example.org | 0438 507 166
General media contact:
Scott Samson, Public Affairs, Wellways Australia
email@example.com | (03) 8486 4200 | 0429 022 248