The idea behind National Carers Week (16-22 October) is to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution unpaid carers in Australia make in our community.
There are over 2.8 million family and friend carers in Australia providing 36 million hours of care and support every week to a family member or friend who has a disability, mental illness, drug and/or alcohol dependency, chronic condition, terminal illness or who is frail.
Anyone at any time can become a carer. Caring roles in Australia are valued at $60.3 billion per year. This means if people stopped performing their caring roles, it would cost the country over $60 billion per year.
Carers Australia has a goal to show the 2.8 million carers in Australia that they count by building a virtual thank you wall – helping to build a carer-friendly nation. Offer your thanks before the end of National Carers Week.
You can show your support by hosting or attending an event, like Carers Day Out, a free day of wellness, information, advice and a BBQ lunch in Redfern. Ku-ring-gai Council is also hosting a forum in partnership with the Northern Sydney LHD on Thursday 20 October. There are plenty of other local events happening during the week as well.
If you’re a carer in need of support, the Northern Sydney Local Health District can provide you with information, advice and support in your caring role. Alternatively, the Australian Government’s Carer Gateway provides practical information as a national online and phone service.
With 1 in 8 Australian employees in a caring role, Carers Australia is also encouraging workplaces to become more carer-friendly. One way to do this is to offer more flexible working conditions. Benefits of becoming a carer-friendly workplace include reduced costs of employee turnover, increased staff morale, increased productivity, and reducing employee stress and absenteeism.
Join in the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #carers2016 and tagging @carersaus or @CarersNSW.
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