Carers need support and support is available. Sometimes carers feel quite a burden upon them. For example, after several years of caring for his wife Bev, who was living with advanced dementia, Wal was handed a packet of booklets and forms about nursing home placement. Wal was experiencing mental health issues himself at the time and felt overwhelmed by this level of paperwork in addition to providing around-the-clock care for his wife.
The Carer Gateway recognises that carers don’t have a lot of time available for reading. The idea behind it is to provide all of the information, links and connections that carers might need on a single site. Here, you’ll find is a list of tips for carers such as “Five reasons why carers don’t ask for help.” The message for carers is that you do need help and help is available. If only this resource had been brought to Wal’s attention!
Services available through the Carer Gateway include phone counselling, a forum where you can connect with other carers, self-guided coaching and information about courses where you can gain useful skills. You can also access information about Guardianship versus Power of Attorney.
You will also find information about the NDIS for Carers; something that might have eased a lot of anxiety for Wal and Bev had it been available in their day. Helpful checklists are provided along with advice on how to remain calm and organised.
The Carer Gateway covers all of these topics and more, from various perspectives, to ensure that everyone’s unique needs are addressed. A section titled ‘Your Different Circumstances’ includes information useful to people experiencing mental health issues, students, parents, LGBTI people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, those located in rural and remote areas and people who continue to work while caring for someone, among others.
Everyone who is a carer or who supports carers will benefit from checking out the Carers’ Gateway. You can call 1800 422 737 or visit their web https://www.carergateway.gov.au.
By Warren Heggarty from Panorama Magazine
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