Caring for someone
Carers provide regular support and assistance to those who need it because of disability, chronic illness, mental illness, drug and alcohol dependency, frail age or dementia. When caring for a child, this is when the care needed by them is more than what a child of their age would usually need, for a long period of time.
A carer is not paid a wage or salary, although they may receive a pension or allowance for their caring role.
People of all ages can be a carer, including:
- an older person caring for a child with disability who has grown up
- a child or young person caring for a parent with disability
- a parent caring for a child with disability
- a relative or friend caring for an older person.
Carers can be employed, at school and/or have a range of other commitments at the time they take on the role of caring.
Looking after yourself
Being a carer can be immensely rewarding, but it can also be emotionally and physically demanding.
The better your physical and emotional wellbeing, the better you will be able to cope with the demands of caring.
Taking a break
Everybody needs some time off to recharge the mind and body, including carers.
Breaks are also important for the person you care for. It gives them an opportunity to socialise, meet other people and learn new skills.
You are not alone
Being able to talk with someone who knows what its like to care for someone with disability or an older person often helps.
A network of support groups across NSW offer parents, families, friends, peers and carers the chance to connect with other people in similar circumstances.
Coping with challenging behaviour
Challenging behaviour, such as aggression or withdrawn behaviour, can interfere with the daily life of a person with disability, or their carer.
There are a number of ways families and carers can help the person with disability manage challenging behaviour.
As valued members of the community, carers may be entitled to payments and services which support them to continue in their caring role. See the Australian Government Department of Human Services website for information on the payments and services they offer.
Carers NSW is building its database of support groups for carers of people with disability that are currently running across NSW. This will help in planning for the new support group program funded through Stronger Together 2.
Carers NSW would like to know about support groups that run for carers of people with physical and/or intellectual disabilities.