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For carers and family
Being a carer can be emotionally rewarding, but it can also be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, so you need all the help you can get. Thankfully, today there are more services than ever before to help you care for your family member, more opportunities for you to take a break, and more organisations that can offer you support. This part of our website helps you by putting you in touch with all the programs, services, organisations and support groups that can make your life easier.
Who is a carer?
Carers are usually family members or friends who provide support to a person who has a disability, a mental illness, a chronic condition or is too frail to provide care for themself. Not everyone who gives care thinks of themself as a carer. If so, they may be missing out on the wide range of opportunities available to support them.
Read more: To find out who is a carer
Preparing someone to receive care
The question of care can arise suddenly - for example, if your family member (or friend) has a stroke. Otherwise, the need for care can emerge gradually, if, for instance, there are progressive changes in your family member’s condition. Either way, it helps to be prepared and know what your options are.
Read more: About preparing someone to receive care
Caring for someone at home
Deciding to care for your family member at home can mean big changes. But if an older person wishes to stay at home, this is often the best way of maintaining their independence. This part of the website takes you through safety issues and gives advice on sharing the load.
Read more: About caring for someone at home
Caring for someone in care
If you’re considering an aged care home it’s quite normal to feel guilty and wonder if you’re making the right decision. This section of the website will help you think through your own needs and help you understand how you can still support your family member when they’re in an aged care home.
Read more: About caring for someone in care
Caring for someone with a particular need
There are many services available now for people with particular needs. These may be cultural needs (for example special dietary or spiritual requirements) or special needs experienced by Indigenous Australians, rural and remote communities, financially disadvantaged people, or for those with specific health conditions.
Read more: About caring for someone with a particular need
How eHealth can help you care for someone
As a carer you know how stressful it can be to keep track of and manage the health needs of the person you are caring for, particularly in an emergency. Registering them for the Australian Government’s eHealth record can help you better manage their health information, removing a lot of the stress and worry.
You can apply online at the eHealth website
to register someone under the age of 18 for whom you have parental responsibility. If you are authorised to act for someone aged over 18, you can apply to register them for an eHealth record in writing or in person at a service centre offering Medicare services (Department of Human Services).
Once an eHealth record has been created for the person you care for, you can then register yourself as their authorised representative. As an authorised representative you will have online access to their key health information, such as medications, any allergies or past adverse reactions, and recent medical events and treatments.
Having an eHealth record also gives doctors and other healthcare professionals ready access to the information they need to provide the best possible care – both for you and for the people you care for.
For more information visit the eHealth webpage
or call 1800 723 471
Looking after yourself
Every carer has a responsibility towards themselves. This part of our website will help you with tips and resources that can help you look after your health, take regular breaks and access special support groups and counselling services to make sure you’re always able to cope. There’s even a section that specifically addresses the needs of younger carers.
Read more: About looking after yourself
Financial and legal help
This section of our website covers financial and legal support that you may be able to access, as well as information about how to manage financial matters on behalf of the person you care for, including how to get a power of attorney, enduring power of attorney, guardianship or administrator rights.
Read more: About financial and legal help
What programs are available?
Go to this part of the site for information about carer support programs that offer respite services, allowing you to take a well-deserved break from your caring responsibilities, with the assurance that your family member will be well looked after.
Read more: About what programs are available
Some people don’t like to think too far ahead, because they feel it’s morbid or inviting bad luck. But if you help your family member get their affairs in order and address all their relevant legal concerns, both of you will be able to face the future with far greater peace of mind.
Read more: About thinking ahead
Here’s where you go to contact all the organisations, support groups, services and programs that will help you in your caring role.
Read more: Useful contacts
If you have a question we may have the answer. Go to this part of our site to read the advice that we often find ourselves giving on our hotlines and helplines.
Read more: Common questions