Support, guidance & advice for todays primary carers
Carer Gateway is an Australian Government program providing free services and support for carers.
If you care for a family member or friend with disability, a medical condition, mental illness, or a person who is frail due to age, then Carer Gateway can help you.
The Australian Government works with a large range of health and community care organisations across Australia, known as Carer Gateway service providers, in order to deliver services to carers no matter where they live in Australia.
Introduction of Carer Gateway
Carer Gateway was first introduced in 2015 as a website and phone line to help carers find and access the right support to help them in their caring role.
Carers have access to a range of tailored supports and services, to help them manage daily challenges, reduce stress, plan for the future and ultimately improve their well-being. Carer gateway in its current form was implemented in a two-phase approach, with the first phase implemented in July 2019 and the second from April 2020.
Phase One included the introduction of new online and phone-based supports including free phone counselling, online peer support, self-guided coaching, and practical educational resources. These supports aim to improve carer wellbeing, skills and their knowledge.
Phase Two followed to include the delivery of in person services through organisations across Australia known as Carer Gateway service providers.
What Services and Support Do They Offer
Carers can get a wide range of help, from counselling and peer support groups to respite care, home help and use of equipment. Services are delivered in-person, online and over the phone, and are available to all carers no matter their age or where in Australia they live.
Carer Gateway packages are tailored to your needs. All caring situations are different, and what benefits you may not be so helpful for others.
Call Carer Gateway and speak to your local service provider to begin the planning process. Carer Gateway provides many services to support carers in their caring role, which include:
• In-person and Online Peer Support Groups –
you might like to meet with people like you who care for someone and share stories, knowledge and experience. You can do this with people in your area or you can join the carer forum online.
• Tailored Support Packages –
these are supports and services tailored to help you in your caring role. You may be able to get:
services or equipment to help with your education – for example, tutoring, educational supplies or training courses.
• Planned respite, where a service provider steps in to take care of your family member or friend while you take a break
• Cooking and cleaning services
• Assistance with shopping
• Transport, to help you do things like go to medical appointments or do shopping
Services are delivered in-person, online and over the phone.
• In-person and Phone Counselling –
if you are feeling stressed, anxious, sad or frustrated, a counsellor can talk with you either in person or over the phone in the comfort of your own home.
• In-person and Online Self-guided Coaching –
you can talk to a professional coach to reflect on your experience and needs, identify personal goals and create a plan to reach these goals, or you can work through interactive online coaching sessions at your own pace. There are a range of topics to help you in your caring role.
• Online Skills Courses –
carers can learn new skills in caring for someone and their own well-being, including dealing with stress and legal issues. Each course covers a different topic and you can complete them online at your pace and in your own time.
• Emergency respite –
if you get sick or hurt unexpectedly and you can’t continue to look after the person you care for, emergency respite services can help to take care of them while you get better. Call 1800 422 737 at any time for help with accessing emergency respite.
In-person peer support groups
Carer support groups enable carers to meet with other carers in their local community in a safe and supportive environment.
The groups are led by a facilitator who will work with your group to design and run a program with topics of interest to you, and also give you the opportunity to build connections with the other carers.
To find out more about the in-person peer support groups available near you, call Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737, Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm and select Option 1 to speak with your local Carer Gateway service provider. They will register you with Carer Gateway and start the planning process.
Online community forum
The online community forum gives carers a safe, moderated space to come together and ask questions, share advice and experiences and gain emotional support.
You can read through previous discussions or create a login account to start a new discussion topic or you can add to an existing discussion.
All forum users remain anonymous, and there are trained moderators to ensure the space is safe, friendly and helpful for everyone. Find out more about the forum and join.
What is Respite
‘Respite’ or ‘respite care’ is when someone else takes care of the person you care for, so that you can have a break. A break can give you time to undertake everyday activities or to relax, to deal with any stress and look after yourself.
The online community forum gives carers a safe, moderated space.
What Does Respite Care Involve
Respite care can be given by family or friends or by a respite service. It can take place at home, in the community, at a centre or in a residential care facility.
Respite care can be:
• for a short time (for example, for a few hours each week)
• for a longer time, including overnight (for example, a weekend)
Services like My Aged Care or the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) may support respite care for the person you care for.
Some community organisations offer care for particular groups (for example, activities for children or cultural groups). They may also offer activities for the person you care for, such as social events or therapy sessions. This can give you time for yourself.
Some carer groups also offer activities for carers (for example, morning teas or yoga classes) to help them get a well-earned break.
How do I access Carer Gateway Services?
Carers can talk to someone about accessing these services by calling Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737 (selecting Option 1) Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm local time or visiting the website carergateway.gov. au and requesting a call back.
They will talk you through the registration process and start the planning process. This process helps the Carer Gateway staff learn more about you and your caring role so they can match services to your individual needs. ACG
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Carer Gateway is an Australian Government program providing free services and support for carers. Call Carer Gateway for support and access to services, Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm local time.
Assistance with accessing emergency respite is available any time, 24/7.
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