7 things I wish someone had told me when I became a carer
You can do this
It takes strength and courage to be a carer. Some days you won’t feel like you are up to it. But you will figure things out and find help, and things will get better.
You don’t have to know everything all at once
As a carer, there can be a lot for you to learn, understand and keep track of. Just take everything step by step, and you will get there. You can explore our self-guided coaching to help you.
You can get help
There are many services and supports ready to help you, from home help to transport. You can call Carer Gateway – 1800 422 737, Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm – to find out what help you can get.
You can even get financial help
If you are a carer, you may be able to get payments from the Australian Government. You may also be able to get cards and concessions that make many things cheaper for you and the person you care for. You can explore our financial help section to find out more.
You can get someone to take over so you can have a break
‘Respite’ or ‘respite care’ is when someone else takes care of the person you care for, so that you can have a break. You can arrange respite care by calling your local Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on 1800 052 222, or 1800 059 059 after hours.
You are not alone
There are many other people going through the same things – about 1 in every 8 people in Australia is a carer. It can help to talk with other people going through the same things as you. You can connect with other carers through our online carer forum, or join a carer group in your local area. You can call Carers Australia on 1800 242 636 to find out about your local groups.
It’s OK to look after yourself
As a carer, you’ll often put the needs of the person you care for before your own needs. But it’s not selfish to look after yourself too. The stronger you are, the stronger you can be for your loved ones. Work out ways to manage your stress, and get help if you are feeling overwhelmed. You can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 224 636, or contact our phone counselling service.