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Elderly man and carer

Caring for someone at home

Caring for someone at home can mean:

  • helping out with a range of day-to-day activities
  • taking on responsibilities such as banking and shopping
  • providing emotional support as well as being someone they can talk with.

What services can help?

Services available to support you in your caring role include:

  • counselling, information and advocacy
  • respite care, allowing you to take a break or get to your appointments or activities. The person you care for is looked after at home, in a community centre or in an aged care home.

If the person you’re caring for is not using aged care services, they may benefit from some help at home, including:

  • home maintenance such as repairs
  • modifications such as installation of hand rails
  • goods and equipment such as a walking frame or a raised toilet seat
  • meals including delivery of meals or help with food preparation in the person’s own home
  • nursing care including wound care, or help with medicines
  • domestic help such as cleaning and ironing
  • transport including transport provided by volunteers, and vouchers for taxis
  • allied health including occupational therapy and physiotherapy
  • Independent Living Centres which have products and equipment to help manage disabilities in daily life.


There may be small changes you can make to the layout of a home to make it safer and more comfortable. To help the person you care for move around:

  • arrange furniture to give plenty of room to walk around and keep the space uncluttered
  • remove loose rugs and seal carpet edges that may be trip hazards.

Back injuries are a common concern for carers if you need to lift the person you care for, such as from a chair to a bed. To make sure you’re lifting in the correct way:

  • ask the health care workers you deal with to assess your circumstances
  • ask an occupational therapist, physiotherapist or community nurse to help you work out the safest way to lift or move the person you care for. Ask about aids to help with lifting.

You may also consider:

  • developing an emergency care plan so you have alternative arrangements for the person you care for if you become ill or have an accident
  • having a plan in place if the person you care for has limited mobility. Emergency Care Kits are available with contact cards and information to help you if there is an emergency where you need to evacuate. Ask your local fire authority for advice about how to evacuate and installing smoke detectors.

More information

If you are looking for support options available, read more about counselling for carers, getting help at home or respite care.

If you are going to be looking after someone at home you can find out more about planning care and safety in the house on the Carer Gateway website.

Last reviewed: 3 May, 2018.