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.
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. You can explore our online carer skills course to help you.
You can get help
Call Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737, Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm, to find out what help you can get and start the planning process.
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 for long or short breaks, or in an emergency.
You are not alone
There are many other people going through the same or a similar situation as you – around 1 in every 9 people in Australia is a carer. It can help to talk with other people going through the same things as you. You can talk with other carers through Carer Gateway, try our online carer community forum, or call Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737 to register and find a local support group.
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 the people you care for. Work out ways to manage your stress, and get help if you are feeling overwhelmed.
Carer Gateway provides free counselling to carers. There are three types of counselling options available:
- In-person one-on-one counselling
- In-person group counselling
- Phone counselling
If you are distressed and need immediate support, please call one of the following 24 hour crisis support services:
- Lifeline 13 11 14 (for anyone)
- Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 (for people aged 5 to 25)
- Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
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