Offer To Help A Carer This National Carers Week
© Danielle Robertson Consulting Pty Ltd t/as DR Care Solutions
This week we acknowledge and thank our carers – the 2.7 million Australians – who give their time to care for loved ones.
National Carers Week is an awareness-raising initiative of Carers Australia funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services. It recognises the unpaid work of 2.7 million Australians - 12% of our population!
During the week, I have been speaking at virtual workplace conferences and raising the statistic that:
One in six employees over the age of 45 have aged care responsibilities and spend an average of five weeks off work to ‘sort things out’.
Australian carer stories
Carers do span all age groups. Looking at the stories shared by the 10 ambassadors of this year’s campaign, one gains an appreciation of the millions of reasons why people become carers.
Raelene - Raelene, a carer and ambassador from Canberra, looks after her father, Kevin, who has stage four lung cancer. She speaks of carers having an invisible role to most people.
Idell - In Queensland, Idell and her husband care for Chantelle, their teenage daughter who was born with multiple disabilities. To Idell, caring is a 24/7 community role of giving vulnerable children the opportunity to do things they would normally miss out on.
An inspiration, though need to care for themselves
Personally, I am inspired by the dedication, resilience, empathy of this invisible workforce that I have the privilege to work with and support every day.
They serve their loved ones before themselves often to the detriment of their own health and wellbeing. Many struggle to keep their loved one at home for as long as possible until it becomes unfeasible.
Sadly, I do find myself assisting families where the primary carer has comprised their own health to the point that they themselves require care.
Call a carer this National Carers Week
My message this National Carers Week is for us all to pick up the phone, make a call to an unpaid carer and offer to help out in some way.
Offer to cook a meal, to visit to provide some informal care to the person needing care to give the carer a break, pick up some groceries or visit the chemist, clean a room in the house or tidy up the garden, or just spend time with the carer, making sure the conversation isn’t all about the person being cared for.
Simply allowing the carer to “offload” their story and know that someone is listening to them can be of some relief. Be a good listener. Always be mindful of the enormous stress and pressure the carer is under.
One thing all carers have in common is the belief that they cannot have time out. With your help, they can have some time out. They should not feel any guilt about this. Remind them that the person being cared for may feel guilt for the burden they place on their carer.
Convince a carer to create a support team
In previous blogs, I give a range of practical steps carers can take to ease their load. My main tip is to spread the load by having a support team in place.
A support team galvanised into action early on, in my experience, improves the health of the primary carer and sees the person needing care remain in their home longer.
When I speak of a support team, I mean a mix of informal, unpaid carers such as family, neighbours, friends, community services and volunteers as well as paid carers.
DR Care Solutions can help in arranging your support team. We will sit down with the person being cared for and their carer and discuss our Five Easy Steps 4 Care©.
We offer expertise on how to set up the right care, support and assistance for your loved one, at the right time and in the right place. Please feel free to contact me, Danielle Robertson at DR Care Solutions, for an initial discussion.
 Carers Week: 10-16 October 2021
 Danielle Robertson's Carers Week Presentation
 Carers Week: Ambassadors
 DR Care Solutions: Overcoming The Guilt Felt As A Carer
 DR Care Solutions: Four Practical Steps For New Carers