When does caring for someone make me a carer?

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Family members and friends often find themselves in the role of a carer, even if they don’t identify themselves as such, because they are someone who provides ongoing, informal assistance with daily activities when a loved one is living with dementia.

Whether you’re a husband, wife, partner, child, sibling or friend of a person living with dementia, your relationship may change a bit as a result of your caring role, so it is important that you also receive the support you need.

It also may help to know that you are not alone. According to a 2022 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report there are between 137,600 and 354,200 informal primary carers of people with dementia.

Caring for the carer

People report that caring can be a rewarding role, with 38 per cent of primary carers of people with dementia in one survey reporting feeling closer to the person they were supporting. 

However, it can also be physically, mentally, emotionally and economically demanding.

You may find that you are not taking as much care of your own emotional, mental or physical wellbeing. 

That’s why Dementia Australia offers support for families and carers, as well as people living with dementia. 

What services are available to carers?

Dementia Australia offers services to help you:

  • support the person living with dementia to live well at home, for as long as possible
  • support the person living with dementia to continue with their hobbies, activities and interests
  • learn about dementia, so you’re better equipped to manage changes
  • access professional counselling
  • access support services and programs to maintain your health and wellbeing.
     

How to contact Dementia Australia 

The National Dementia Helpline provides support and services to people living with dementia, families and carers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You can call the Helpline on 1800 100 500 or visit their website.

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In Need of Support?

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.

1800 422 737 

Friends & Partners

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