Caring for carers

CARERS WEEK 2016: Sunday 16th October to Saturday 22nd October 2016

UNPAID carers provide 1.9 billion hours of care every year, saving the Australian government an estimated $60.3 billion – roughly the annual cost of the age pension.

“That’s over $1 billion per week, Carers WA CEO Paul Coates says. “Without unpaid carers, aged care and disability care would be unaffordable.”

The Productivity Commission reports that almost 30 per cent of people retiring aged 60–64 do so because they are caring for a partner or parent.

National Carers Week, October 16 to 22, recognises the sacrifices made by the army of people caring for a family member or friend: “We encourage the Australian community to offer their thanks to carers and help build a carer-friendly Australia,” Mr Coates says.

A carer is someone providing unpaid care and support to a family member or friend, who has a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue, or who is old and frail.

Carers WA supports an estimated 320,000 people in WA with a range of programs and services providing practical and emotional support.

“[Including] counselling, specialist advice and information, education workshops, social events and wellness activities.”

Carers Week includes a high tea for working carers, Sunday October 16 at Burswood, a wellbeing forum and a get-together for Aboriginal Carers, also at Burswood.

A get-together for carers in the LGBTIQ community is on October 19, in Kings Park.

For a full program go to http://www.carerswa.asn.au/events

by JENNY D’ANGER

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