Caring for a veteran

3 minute read

Carers of veterans face a range of different stresses and pressures. That’s because veterans and their situations vary widely. Veterans can be any age or gender, with complex health issues. They often struggle to adjust to their changed lifestyles.

If you care for a veteran, you can use the same supports and resources as other carers. You’ll also find specific services and resources that cater for carers of veterans.

Access Services and Support

Carer Gateway provides a range of free services and support for carers.

By calling 1800 422 737 Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm and selecting option 1, you can speak with your local Carer Gateway service provider. They will talk you through the registration process and start the planning process. This process helps our staff learn more about you and your caring role so they can match services to your individual needs.

Getting information and support

Support is important, both for you and for the person in your care. Fortunately, there are many organisations and services that help veterans and those who care for them:

  • The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) has a Veterans' Home Care program for veterans with low care needs. Carers can get help too, with a range of respite care options.
  • The Partners of Veterans Association of Australia offers support for carers who are also the partners of veterans. The voluntary network focuses on families and future generations.
  • Open Arms, the DVA and Soldier On have links to mental health counselling, advice and support, for veterans and their families. 
  • The Department of Social Services provides support for carers and some veterans can get National Disability Insurance Scheme funding.
  • Services Australia provides payments and services to carers who are providing temporary or ongoing care.
  • Older veterans and their carers can access useful contacts, programs, services and organisations through the MyAgedCare website.

Your rights as the carer of a veteran

The DVA acknowledges and responds to carers’ specific needs and issues, in keeping with the Carer Recognition Act 2010. To improve carer support, the DVA and Carers Victoria put together a training package for provider staff and management.

It’s important to remember that you have the same legal rights as any other carer, both when you receive services and at work. You:

  • have the right to be treated with respect
  • have the right to your privacy and confidentiality
  • can ask for flexible working arrangement because you are a carer
  • can’t be discriminated against at work you because you are a carer
  • have the right to take leave to care for family or household members