Many carers see themselves as a family member who looks after a person they love, not as a carer. This means that you may not think to look for help.
Everyone’s path to being a carer is different. Your family member or friend could need help suddenly – for example if they’ve had a stroke. Other times, it’s a gradual process with physical and/or mental changes slowly making it harder for them to care for themselves. Either way, looking after your own health and wellbeing is important because it will help you in your caring role.
Tips for being confident in your caring role
Carers are important, both in their caring role and as individuals. Making sure others understand your needs will help you balance your role as a carer with other aspects of your life. Be confident about talking to the person you care for about your need to be:
- given privacy
- treated with dignity and respect
- asked to help, not just expected to help
- acknowledged and included in decision-making.
Other tips include:
- carry out only the tasks you are comfortable with
- voice your concerns and offer suggestions
- ask other family members for support
- talk about using support services with the person you care for
- access services when you need help
- provide relevant information to doctors, nurses and other service providers
- reduce the amount of care you provide, or make arrangements for permanent care such as moving into an aged care home.
There are a wide range of services available to help you as a carer. The Carer Gateway is designed to give you support and assistance so you can continue your caring role. Find further information on: