Services and support just for carers
At times, caring can be demanding and draining. As a carer, looking after yourself is essential.
Why carer services and support?
Caring for a family member or friend can be an incredibly rewarding, although very challenging experience. At times, it can be demanding and draining.
As a carer, looking after yourself is essential. You cannot properly care for another person or balance your various commitments, if you are in poor physical or emotional health. You will be placing the person you care for and yourself at risk.
Combine some of the options below to build up the support around you. This will help you to keep on caring - and get you through the difficult days.
Information, support and advice
Our carer advisory line (ph: 1800 242 636) provides information and support for caring families in Victoria.
Our staff are trained to understand the needs of caring families. They can help with:
- Specialised information about caring. This might include information about service and support systems, the condition of the person you are caring for, how to maintain your own health and wellbeing or money and legal issues.
- Finding services and supports that will help you to manage. This might include respite, counselling, education and training, or carer support groups.
- Communicating your needs effectively to the people and services that you need to support you.
- Emotional support and problem solving
- Arranging short-term counselling across Victoria
Carer support and respite options
Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres (CRCCs) aim to contribute to the support and maintenance of caring relationships by facilitating access to information, respite care and other support appropriate to carers’ needs and circumstances, and the needs of the people they care for.
The national network of CRCCs provides a link to carer support services and assists carers with options to take a break through short-term and emergency respite. Where appropriate, a CRCC can help with putting in place regular respite for a carer to reduce the need for unplanned and emergency respite. CRCCs also provide information about carer support services in their local area.
The nearest CRCC can be contacted by phoning 1800 052 222 during business hours or 1800 059 059 for emergency respite support outside standard business hours. (Freecall except from mobile phones).
Talking it through
There will be many times in your caring role when you might like to talk things through with a helpful outsider. The National Carer Counselling Program is specifically for carers and offered face-to-face or over the telephone. Phone our Carer Advisory Line on (ph: 1800 242 636) to find out more.
Carer support groups
Talking to other carers is a great way to gain information, support and advice from people who know first-hand what caring involves. There are hundreds of carer support groups in most states, so one is likely to be near your home. Each group is run differently - some meet to listen to guest speakers and others simply get together for morning tea. Carers themselves run some groups, whereas others are facilitated by paid carer support workers or aged care workers.
Finding the right carer support group is important, so don't be deterred if the first one you attend does not feel right for you. This may take some time. Carer support groups don't suit everyone - but you won't know if you don't give it a go.
Carers associations regularly run free education workshops and training sessions for carers across Australia. These workshops are a great way to meet other carers, share information, learn from the experiences of others and find new ways of doing things.