Carer Gateway is a national online and phone service that provides information about services and support available for people who care for someone with disability, chronic illness, dementia, mental illness or who are frail aged.
Sydney resident Lac, cares for her brother, Andrew, and has done so for as long as she can remember. When she was young, Lac helped her mother care for Andrew, who has Down Syndrome, with little things such as helping him get dressed, eating and getting him ready for school. She was also the interpreter for the family. Initially, Lac felt these activities were just part of being a family.
“Not being able to speak English well limited our parents from knowing the services that were available for Andrew,” Lac explained.
Lac’s advice to other carers is “don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are lots of services out there to help, so use them – don’t do it all on your own”.
Information on supports and services for carers are available on Carer Gateway. Carers can call 1800 422 737 Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm to find information and be provided with links to local services.
Carers can also access a range of information to assist them in their caring role at carergateway.gov.au. The website has an interactive service finder to help carers locate their nearest carer support services, and also includes a fact sheet that has been translated into 14 languages.