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Caring for someone with a disability is a role filled with love, dedication, and often, significant challenges. Carers provide essential support, often sacrificing their own wellbeing to ensure the comfort and care of their loved ones. However, it is important for a carer to care for themselves, as it enables them to best look after the people around them.

According to a 2022 Carers Australia survey, 62 percent of carers lack time for themselves and that often puts their own wellbeing at risk. They may also miss out on beneficial social and work opportunities.

This article explores the support systems in place to help carers maintain their own health while providing the best possible care for those they love.

Supports available

  • My Time: Is a support program funded by the Department of Social Services, providing peer support services across Australia. You can meet other carers and parents with similar experiences for direct peer support.
  • Carer Gateway: A national online and phone service that provides practical information and resources for carers, including counselling, respite care and financial assistance.
  • Carers NSW and QLD: Services include the Carer Advisory Service, where carers can receive information and advice on available supports, training and education programs, carer support groups, facilitate access to respite care and financial support programs.
  • Financial Support and Respite Care: Financial support can come in the form of Carer Payment and Carer Allowance through Centrelink, providing income support for those who are unable to work due to their caring responsibilities. Respite care offers temporary relief, allowing carers to take a break and recharge.

Caring for someone with a disability is a noble and demanding role. Fortunately, there are numerous supports available to help carers navigate their responsibilities while maintaining their own health and wellbeing. From financial assistance and respite care to mental health support and training programs, these resources are designed to ensure that carers do not have to shoulder their burdens alone.

If you are a carer, reaching out to available supports and programs can provide the assistance you need to continue your vital work with the strength and resilience required.