Showing our carers they are valued
NATIONAL Carers Week starts tomorrow and it’s a week that I think more people should be aware of.
It’s a week recognising and celebrating the outstanding contribution Australia’s 2.7 million unpaid carers make to our nation.
Carers Australia say that should all carers decide to stop performing their caring roles, it would cost the country $60.3 billion per year to replace those supports – that’s more than $1 billion per week.
The work these people do is so undervalued. This week I was fortunate enough to talk to two carers.
These two women both look after their husbands and spoke about the struggles of going from being a wife, to being a wife and a full-time carer.
They both spend 24 hours a day, seven days a week making sure their husbands are looked after.
I take my hat off to anyone who cares for a family member or friend, it would be a tough job and I think we need to recognise these people more.
Their efforts in caring for their loved ones full-time reduces the strain on our health care and aged care systems.
But we need to make sure the people caring for people are looked after.
I spoke with Carers Queensland Sunshine Coast team leader Kath Kelly, who said the aim was to ensure the carers were cared for.
“We make sure the carers are taken care of so they don’t end up becoming ill themselves and having to be taken care of,” she said.
Reports show that these unpaid carers often put their own well-being to the side to care for their loved one, resulting in mental or physical illness.
If you happen to know someone who is a carer, take a minute this week to say thank you to them and let them know you support them.
Maybe even think about organising a morning or afternoon tea, fundraiser or workshop to raise awareness of the diversity of carers and caring roles in Australia.
Their job is tough, unpaid and so vital. We need to make sure these people are cared for so they can continue doing their work.
To read more about the work carers do, visit carersweek.com.au.