National Carers Week – get involved!
17th of October, 2018
By Brendan Dunphy, BLD Communication
As we highlighted in our July blog, recognising the contribution carers make to our community is, quite simply, essential. There are more than 2.7 million carers engaged in Australia across multiple care areas and at the highest intensity level – often 24/7/365.
We also know carers tend to downplay their importance and are each community’s quiet achievers – avoiding the limelight and simply getting on with the job of caring for their loved ones.
What is remarkable is that in dollar terms, their contribution is valued at an astonishing $60 billion each year – more than $1 billion per week!
Sadly, carers are often overwhelmed by the planning and bureaucratic processes required to secure the best support outcomes. This can include battling for funding, accessing support information and constantly explaining and indeed, justifying their needs on behalf of their loved ones.
Yet, as the foundation of support for a multitude of those with disability around Australia and indeed the world, it is their care, support and intervention that helps ensure a fuller and more productive life for those they care for.
Because of this, we believe they deserve accolades and recognition and this is what National Carers Week is all about!
In short, National Carers Week is about recognising and celebrating the outstanding contribution these unpaid carers make to our nation. Each year this event also provides an opportunity to educate and raise awareness among all Australians about the sheer diversity of carers and their unique caring roles.
How can you get involved?
National Carers Week (14 October – 20 October 2018) is all about creating awareness for our carers and there are many ways you can do this. Consider creating your own event! It doesn’t need to be complex. Perhaps a simple fund-raising morning or afternoon tea to help raise awareness in your community.
We know unpaid carers simply don’t have the time, however, by organising an event at, or close to home, carers can enjoy some time out while other community members can learn more about what carers do on a day-to-day basis.
When individuals show their support, it can make a great collective difference. By raising awareness, you also help to increase self-identification among unpaid carers.
Some other initiatives to consider to show your support:
Spread the word about National Carers Week on social media using the hashtag #carers2017 and ask your friends and family to get involved
Go to the National Carers Week website and show your support by saying Thank You to carers
Download and display one of the posters around your community or in your workplace
Promote carer-friendly practices in your workplace
Contact your local MP via Twitter or Facebook and ask them to publicly support National Carers Week
Write to your local MP or council and ask how they will support National Carers Week this year
At work, ask your HR Department or manager if you can circulate information on National Carers Week among your colleagues
Talk to your HR manager about Carers Australia’s Work and Care initiative and the possibility of your organisation becoming a carer-friendly workplace
And many more…
Visit www.carersweek.com.au to learn more.
As the article author, National Carers Week has special significance for myself and my family. We have a 12-year old daughter that suffers from Microcephaly – a medical condition in which the brain does not develop properly resulting in a smaller than normal head. For our daughter, this has impacted her brain development so she is developmentally delayed impacting all aspects of her – and our family’s life.
While we engage professional (paid) care including school counsellors, occupational therapy (OT), mentoring and musical therapy – all thanks to our NDIS program – we also rely heavily on non-paid carer support from both family and friends to give us respite and allow positive engagement with our daughter.
Always altruistic, the time they give her is selfless, compassionate and always engaging.
This combination of professional and, more importantly, non-paid care has made a huge difference to our daughter’s life and for this, we will always be grateful.
Please take part in National Carers Week and recognise and create awareness for the remarkable and selfless work our non-paid carers across Australia do.
At NADO we are an active participant in National Carers Week. If you have any questions or want to get involved in activities or initiatives, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
As always, we actively encourage feedback on our blog content in general. We are always open to suggestions and comments!