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 car­er­

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