7 things I wish someone had told me when I became a carer

3 minute read

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 5pm – 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 Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737.

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. Contact your nearest Carers Australia branch 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.