There are 854,300 carers living in NSW. This means that at least 1 in 10 of us is a carer in NSW.
The NSW Government’s vision for the carers in NSW is that they are supported to participate fully in their own social and economic life. We want them to be healthy and live well. Read on to learn about some of the ways we’re making this happen.
Carers are people who provide ongoing unpaid support to people who need it because of their disability, chronic illness, mental illness, frail age, dementia or drug or alcohol dependency. This definition includes foster carers if they are caring for a child who needs additional support, for example if they have a disability or mental illness.
A carer is not paid to care, although they may receive a pension or allowance for their caring role. Carers can balance caring with employment, school and/or have other commitments at the time they take on the role of caring.
People of all ages can be a carer, including:
- an older person caring for a child with disability who has grown up
- a child or young person caring for a parent with disability
- a parent caring for a child with disability
- a relative or friend caring for an older person.
The Australian Government has launched a service for people who care for someone with a disability, chronic illness, dementia, mental illness, or who are frail due to age.
The Carer Gateway:
- provides practical information and advice
- helps carers to get the services and support they need (including emergency respite)
- provides free counselling services over the phone
- provides free coaching to help carers in their caring role
- connects carers with other carers through a community forum
Each region in Australia has a Carer Gateway service provider, so carers will be connected to the local service provider in their area when they contact the Carer Gateway.
Carers Investment Program
The Department of Communities and Justice is providing $5.6m over three years for projects that will improve the well-being of carers in NSW. Funding is focussed on projects with evidence-based outcomes and those that align with carer priorities as identified in the NSW Carers Strategy, the NSW Carers (Recognition) Act 2010 and other relevant reforms in the sector. To find out more, click here
The Companion Card is a non-profit program funded by the NSW government. It is for people with a significant and permanent disability that need a carer at all times to participate in community based activities and venues.
The card is issued in the name of the person who has the disability. They can choose who supports and assists them including their carer. When the card holder buys a ticket for themselves at participating venues and facilities, their companion will get free entry. To find out more, click here