National Carers Week gives all Australians the opportunity to show their support for Australia’s 2.8 million unpaid carers! This important awareness-raising week runs from 16 – 22 October, when all Australians can ‘let carers know they count’ and help build a carer-friendly Australia.
Australia’s unpaid carers make a tremendous contribution to the nation, undertaking challenging caring roles for family and friends that saves our country billions of dollars annually. This important role can limit carers’ own education and employment opportunities, which in turn can result in social isolation and financial stress, so it is important we acknowledge and recognise the vital work they do.
The value of the unpaid care provided by carers has been calculated at $60.3 billion annually – more than $1 billion every week. This year’s National Carers Week campaign encourages all Australians to say ‘Thank You’ to unpaid carers, providing a public acknowledgement of the work they do and helping to visibly build community support.
This can be done via the official National Carers Week website, which also hosts a broad range of information on the campaign and details the many ways you can get involved – from hosting your own event, downloading posters, participating in one of the many events being held nationwide, posting messages of support on social media, or simply by spreading the word and encouraging others to say ‘Thank You’.
This year we are also looking for employers to begin the process of becoming a carer-friendly workplace. With 1 in 8 Australian employees in a caring role, becoming a carer-friendly workplace and providing flexible working conditions makes sense for employers, employees and the wider economy.
Cares Australia has a Work & Care initiative that helps employers attract and retain experienced workers by enabling employee carers to combine paid work with their caring role, and help long‑term carers on income support transition into employment when their caring role has ceased or is reduced.
There are many reasons carers work while providing unpaid care; from financial necessity to social interaction. Balancing these two roles is challenging, and the Work & Care initiative provides simple steps for both employers and employees to better support carers in the workplace to the benefit of all.
Help make sure Carers Count by ordering a Work & Care information pack and becoming a registered Carer‑Friendly Workplace – this video will show you how!
Carers Australia is the national peak body representing Australia’s carers, advocating on behalf of those who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, alcohol or other drug issue or who are frail aged.
We work collaboratively with partners and our members, the network of state/territory Carers Associations, to deliver a range of essential national carer services.
Our Vision is an Australia that values and supports the contribution that carers make to the community as a whole. We work to improve the health, wellbeing, resilience and financial security of carers, and to ensure that caring is a shared responsibility of family, community and government.
Ara Cresswell, Chief Executive Officer, Carers Australia
This blog forms part of a series of blogs to recognise Carers Week and the important role carers play in the community.
The CareSearch website provides trustworthy, evidence based information that helps carers manage a loved one's terminal illness at home. You can find it at www.caresearch.com.au.