Help for Carers Is Available.
Caring for someone can be both challenging and rewarding, and some people who are in a caring role don’t know that respite is available. The UPA have been the approved provider of the CRCC (Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre) Government-funded respite service for twenty years – since the funding was first announced. Program Manager, Alison Laverty, has been at the CRCC for seventeen of those years and says that often carers don’t even know they are carers. “It can be that a child is caring for their mum with a mental illness or an elderly husband caring for their wife with dementia. To be eligible for CRCC help, you don’t need to be getting a carer pension or allowance.” Enquiries don’t need to be from the carer themselves, they can be from a doctor, friend or even family member who senses that someone might need a break. “Because we are an emergency service, we are very responsive, flexible and available 24 hours a day. There’s a freecall 1800 number.” “People do call at night. The support is for carers, so if they are sick, or go to hospital in the night, or a crisis happens, we are always available to respond to situations in a very flexible way.” Alison said that the most common CRCC services utilised are respite to give the carer a break, and that can be going in to the home, out in the community, placing someone into appropriate temporary care, and more. “We also ensure the carers rights are heard and listened to so they feel that they are acknowledged and their role is supported.” Each case is individually assessed. If they can’t meet all needs, they can refer to other services, or refer to ongoing support. At times the CRCC may ask for a small client contribution, depending on the individual situation, but generally there’s no set fee structure and the respite comes at no cost to the carer. If you or someone you know needs help in a caring role, you can call the CRCC on 1800 052 222.