Carers ACT provides support to unpaid family and friends who care for someone with a disability, frail with age, or ongoing mental or other illnesses, whether they live in the same household or not.
Funded by the Australian and ACT Governments, Carers ACT is a local not-for-profit organisation, the peak body for (unpaid) carers in the ACT. We have been in operation since 1981, with our purpose being to support, connect and empower carers to maintain their caring role and personal wellbeing. Carers provide informal, unpaid help with daily living activities and social supports. They can be sometimes difficult to identify as they are partners, spouses, children, family, friends or neighbours of all ages. Many carers see this role as a family responsibility, a sense of duty or due to privacy, not knowing what is available to support them.
Below are some links to help you as a carer:
- Carer Gateway – Funded by the Australian Government, this is a national system of supports to help (unpaid) carers. The Carer Gateway provides carers with help, advice, education and information to understand their caring role (including their wellbeing) and connects them with supports in their local area; can assist by designing an individual plan in consultation that supports their needs; arranges replacement care for the person they care for in an emergency; provides free carer counselling and coaching (by phone, in person or online); links carers with other carers through peer support groups; and offers free online skills courses, self-facilitated coaching, fact sheets and carer forums on a range of topics. To access this service, call 1800 422 737 or visit www.carergateway.gov.au.
- Patients aged 65 years or older (or 50 years or older if Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds), please refer them to My Aged Care for an eligibility assessment. Carers ACT is an approved aged care provider where we can provide respite, assistive technology and equipment.
- Ageing and Dementia Short-Stay Cottages – these two large houses are safe, friendly and nurturing ‘homes away from home’. Staffed by paid professionals, they enable carers of people who are ageing or who have dementia to take a short break from their caring role. Soon the successful aged care residential respite service will be re-established, to help give carers (longer) breaks or assistance with transitioning aged and frail clients/patients to residential facilities.
- Education and Wellbeing – offering a range of free or low-cost educational workshops, social and therapeutic activities, wellness retreats to nurture, empower and connect carers as well as giving them a much needed break. There are also numerous specific support groups, who meet regularly to offer peer support, discussion and sharing of information.
- Provide expert understanding of specialised population groups, such as carers of someone with a disability, carers of mental illness and the services available and supports for young carers under the age of 25.