Carers of older people, including family members and friends, are an important part of care relationships. There are services to help you care for an older person, for example, someone who can no longer do things for themselves, or someone with dementia. Support for carers is available from different sources,
A number of programs and services support and assist carers. There are services specifically for carers of older people, while other services are for all carers. Services and support may be available from government agencies, private agencies, or family and friends.
Help is available
Carers may want help. This help is available from:
- Local, state and Australian governments
- Private agencies
- Voluntary agencies.
Sometimes, the constant demands of caring for someone can be exhausting. The following support is available to assist carers and allow them to have a break (respite):
- Help at home – is available for a few hours, or even overnight, while you do something else.
- Outside activities – the person you care for can attend interesting and stimulating activities while you have a break.
- Longer breaks – care is also available for whole days or weeks. This may be at an activity centre or an aged care home.
In addition to respite, there are services that provide flexible and innovative support to carers, to assist them in their role. Each carer’s needs and preferences are different, and the Support for Carers Program is able to offer different types of support to different people.
Mutual support and self-help services
Being in touch with other carers about their experiences can be a good way to relieve stress. It’s also a way to swap information and get tips about looking after yourself and the person you care for. Information and education can also be useful. Mutual support and self-help services offer these types of opportunities.
Other help is also available
Other services can provide:
- Nursing care – community nurses to help with things like dressings, medicines and injections
- Personal care – help with showering, dressing and getting in and out of bed
- Home care – help with tasks like cooking, cleaning and garden maintenance to give you more time
- Volunteers – may be available to help with shopping, to give you time to attend appointments or to meet other people
- Social support – help to meet other carers or attend support groups.
Where to get help
- Your doctor
- Your local council
- Regional Department of Health office
- Community healthcare centres
- Aged care assessment teams
- Aged Care Australia, Tel. 1800 200 422
- Carers Victoria, Tel 1800 242 636
- Alzheimer’s Australia Vic, Tel (03) 9815 7800
Things to remember
- Carers are important to help older people live as independently as possible at home.
- Help is available for carers of older people.
- Ask for help when you want it.
You might also be interested in:
- Aged care - helping people at home.
- Dementia - carers and activities.
- Dementia - caring for someone who lives alone.
- Dementia - choosing residential care.
- Dementia - communication issues.
- Dementia - how carers can help with dressing.
- Dementia - how it affects carers.
- Dementia - how to encourage healthy eating.
- Dementia - managing incontinence.
- Dementia - safety issues.
- Dementia - support services are available.
- Dementia - taking care of carers.
- Home and Community Care (HACC).
Want to know more?
Go to More information for support groups, related links and references.
This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by:
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Fact sheet currently being reviewed.
Last reviewed: February 2012
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