October 16-22 is Carer's week - is there a carer you need to thank this year?

The focus of National Carer’s week is recognising and celebrating the contribution unpaid carers make to our community.

Unpaid carers in Australia spend 36 million hours every week providing unpaid care and support to family members and friends – the equivalent of $1.1 billion dollars every week. This includes providing care for and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, a chronic condition, terminal illness and aged.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) knows that families and carers play an irreplaceable role in the lives of their family members with disability. We know that families and carers give love, care and support to their family member. They do whatever they need to do to make sure their family member has the best opportunities in life.

We also know that families provide help and support that cannot be replaced by formal services or paid support workers. The NDIS, by providing reasonable and necessary supports to participants, aims to support carers in their role – as a Mum or Dad, partner or spouse, brother or sister, grandparent or extended family member. As Catherine from Charters Towers said, “Being a carer and being a sister, a mother, and an auntie, my life is so busy. And now I’ve got the NDIS, I can relieve a little bit – still do what I have to, but I have that support. Because everyone is being looked after, I’m going to think about myself.”

Carers week provides us all with an opportunity to celebrate the contribution carers make to our lives, communities and the country. This week, Carers Australia is asking everyone to offer their thanks to carers and show how much their contribution to the Australian community is appreciated. Go to Carers Australia’s Thank You Wall and leave a message to thank a carer you know in your life or thank all carers for the work they do.

Visit the families and carers page to learn more about how the NDIS can support carers.