Anyone can be a carer, anytime.
Carers provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness or who are frail. Carers come from all walks of life, all cultures and all religions. Some are only 10 years old while others are nearing 90. They may be spouses, parents, sons or daughters, siblings, friends, nieces or nephews or neighbours and may be providing help and support to a family member and/or a friend.
The term carer can be confusing and there are multiple different types of carers.
People become carers in different ways. Sometimes it happens gradually - helping out more and more as a person’s health and independence get worse over time. It may also happen suddenly - after a health crisis (like a stroke or heart attack) or an accident. It's not uncommon for carers to feel that they don’t really have a choice. Even in large families the responsibility of providing care is often left to one person rather than being shared. Many carers feel that it is what they should do.
Every care situation is different. Some carers provide 24 hour nursing aid to a family member with high care needs. They help with daily needs and activities like feeding, bathing, dressing, toileting, lifting and moving and administering medications. Others care for people who are fairly independent but may need someone to keep an eye on them or help with them with tasks like banking, transport, shopping and housework.
Most carers give comfort, encouragement and reassurance to the person they care for, oversee their health and wellbeing, monitor their safety and help them stay as independent as possible.
Carers SA supports family carers, which refers to anyone providing unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who is frail and elderly, has dementia, a mental illness, a disability, chronic illness or complex needs, or receives palliative care.
If you have any queries about caring or your role of a carer, contact advisory on 1800 242 636 (Freecall)
Follow the link below to find additional readings and references related to carers.