At some point, we will all know a carer, need a carer, or be a carer. This #nationalcarersweek, Carers Australia is asking the community to find out more about the experiences and needs of carers – and it starts with friends and family.
According to the 2022 Carer Wellbeing Survey, 55.2% of carers have low wellbeing – a rate more than double that of the general population. The lowest levels of support were reported by people caring for children or grandchildren, and sole carers with high caring obligations. But did you know that carers who could readily access support from family and friends had significantly higher wellbeing than those who could not? If you have a carer in your life, you have the power to make that difference happen. There are millions of reasons to care, and National Carers Week is a great time to find your reasons.
Ways to show up for carers in your life:
- Ask about them, not just the person they care for
Carers tell us they are often asked about the wellbeing of the person they care for, but less often asked about themselves. Asking someone with caring responsibilities how they are doing lets them know their wellbeing matters too.
- Listen without judgement
Caring can be rewarding, but it can also be difficult and complicated. In 2022, 39.4% of carers reported they were ‘often’ or ‘always’ lonely. You can be a support for carers by letting them know they can trust you to listen to their experiences without judgement.
- Make yourself available to help with everyday tasks
Carers often struggle to find time for themselves whilst attending to responsibilities, with more than half of carers spending more time than they want to on housework and care responsibilities. Meanwhile, more than three-quarters did less recreation, socialising and exercise than they wanted to. Research shows that carers have higher wellbeing when people in their lives can be relied on to relieve these kinds of pressures.
- Don’t wait for them to reach out
It can be hard to prioritise yourself when you have caring responsibilities towards someone else. Letting a carer know you’re thinking about their wellbeing can help them do the same.
These are all great things to continue doing once National Carers Week is over. This National Carers Week, events will be held all over the country to support, celebrate and advocate for carers from Sunday 16 to Saturday 22 October 2022. There are millions of reasons to care about carers, and millions of ways to get involved in #nationalcarersweek. Find out more at www.carersweek.com.au