Our unpaid carers need better access to respite. Let’s give them a break.
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Australia's unpaid carers need you to speak up.
"This issue is a really hidden issue because most carers,
due to their isolation, don’t have contact with the outside world."
Unpaid primary carers of people with high care needs often cannot access any respite at all, 365 days a year, as institutional respite isn’t adequate for the care recipient.
Reform is needed to allow these primary carers to get respite in the family home environment. In-home care providers can then step in and allow the carer to exit for a rest.
"If you don’t prevent the problem from happening the end result is disaster."
38% of unpaid carers burn out mentally or physically - a silent national tragedy, and preventable. This is a growing proportion of the 2.7 million Australians who have dedicated their lives to care for others, and now need care themselves.
"If there isn't a viable respite option for carers they tend to just keep on going until they completely burn out. So then the carer and the care recipient end up both being in hospital, so the cost to the government is phenomenal."
Australia needs to properly fund its Commonwealth Home Support Program so that all unpaid carers can readily access respite, and save the taxpayer a lot of money in the long run.
"We don’t need to reinvent the wheel regarding respite, there is a program that can actually deliver the right kind of one-to-one respite actually in the family home; it actually exists - it just isn’t funded properly."
Unpaid carers save the Australian Federal Government over $60 billion per year, but they need better access to adequate respite.
Let’s give them a break - please sign our petition.
Facts & Sources:
- "38% of carers cease their caring role due to strain."
- "There are 2.7 million carers in Australia."
Department of Social Services. (2016). Designing the new integrated carer support service: A draft Service Concept for the delivery of interventions to improve carer outcomes. Version 2. Australian Government, Canberra.
- "If all hours of informal care provided in 2015 are replaced with services purchased from formal care providers, the replacement value of informal care would be $60.3 billion (equivalent to 3.8% of gross domestic product and 60% of the health and social work industry)."
Access Economics. (2015). The economic value of informal care in Australia in 2015. Carers Australia, Canberra.
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