It’s rewarding work, but without help Dolly finds herself emotionally and physically drained. Dolly reached out and found that she could get services to help her.
Like Dolly, millions of people in Australia care for others who need help with their everyday lives.
A carer may be someone who looks after their husband or wife, partner, grandparent, uncle, aunty, cousin, child, grandchild or any other family member, a neighbour, a friend or someone in their community who needs help.
Everyone’s situation is different. Some carers look after someone who is an older person or who is unwell or has difficulties getting around. Some carers may look after someone who has a disability, a mental illness or dementia, a chronic condition or a long-term illness or drug and alcohol problems.
Many people looking after someone else don’t think of themselves as carers. They just see caring as what they do to help their families or friends or people in their communities.
Carers need help too – someone they can talk to and find out about services that can help. Carer Gateway is a free, Australian Government funded service that provides information for carers and helps people get in touch with their local services. People can ring up and have a private chat or go online and find out about support in their area, free financial and legal help and what to do in emergencies. They can also get tips on how to look after themselves so they don’t get burnt out while caring for someone else.
Carer Gateway has short videos about real-life carers in the community – showing how they cope and deal with problems – and how they make the most of the time they spend caring for someone in need.
The videos include Dolly’s story. Dolly is a mother and full-time carer for her two adult daughters, who both need support with their everyday needs.
“It’s pretty much 24/7 around the clock. Four years ago, I realised I was doing a care role and I was also a working mum so quite busy. I thought you know what, it’s time for me to step back and start looking after my own,” she said.
There are free online resources to support Aboriginal carers, including a guided relaxation audio recording and information brochures and posters for use by health and community groups which can also be ordered from the Carer Gateway ordering form and a Carer Gateway Facebook page to keep up to date on services and supports for carers.
To find out more, Carer Gateway can be contacted on 1800 422 737, Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm,
or by visiting carergateway.gov.au
You can join the Carer Gateway Facebook community by visiting https://www.facebook.com/carergateway/