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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is a carer?

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    Carers Victoria is the statewide voice for family carers, representing and providing support to carers in Victoria. View Profile

    This is a great question! Sometimes there can be confusion because there are so many terms and definitions, but here is our simple answer:

    A carer is anyone who provides unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who has a disability, mental or chronic illness or who is frail-aged.

    • You do not need to live with the person you care for
    • You do not need to be the main source of care and support
    • You do not have to provide care every day or over many years
    • You do not have to receive the Carer Payment or Allowance from Centrelink
    Carers come from all walks of life, all cultures and all religions. Some are only 10 years old while others are nearing 90. Some people don't even call themselves carers - they are partners, parents, sons or daughters, siblings, friends, nieces or nephews or neighbours. And that's cool, because it's not the label that matters, it's the fact that you care!

    Some carers provide 24 hour support to someone with high care needs. They help with daily needs and activities like feeding, bathing, dressing, toileting, lifting and moving and administering medications.

    Others care for people who are fairly independent but may need someone to keep an eye on them or help with them with tasks like banking, transport, shopping and housework.

    Most carers give comfort, encouragement and reassurance to the person they care for, oversee their health and wellbeing, monitor their safety and help them stay as independent as possible.

    Contact the Carer Advisory Line on 1800 242 636 if you have any questions about services or supports available to you.

    The Carers Victoria team

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