Caring for a family member or friend Ministry of Health

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If you decide to take on a caring role it is important to look after yourself as it is likely to affect your home and family life your work and your social life The way that each person responds to or reacts to caring is different 1 Page CA1145 25 5 04 11 35 AM Page 3

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CA1145f 25 5 04 11 48 AM Page 2, Commonwealth Carer The Centres have local knowledge about. Resource Centres The range of services available and. The Commonwealth Carer Resource how to contact them. Centre in each state and territory Who is eligible to receive the services. provides carers with referral to services,Whether there are any costs. and tailored information and resources,associated with receiving the services. to support them in their caring role,Aged care assessment services for. Carers can receive services and free access to Community Aged Care. information on a range of topics Packages or entry into aged care. including homes,Support services,Commonwealth Carelink Centres can.
Counselling through the National be contacted on 1800 052 222. Carer Counselling Program,Emotional support Commonwealth Carer. Home help Respite Centres,Respite There are over 90 Commonwealth. Carer Respite Centres and outlets,Health and well being. around Australia to support carers to, Financial entitlements access respite or take a break. Legal matters,The Centres can,Safety at home and managing.
Provide information and advice,medications,about respite options. Carer support groups,Help with organizing emergency or. Loss and grief planned respite, Commonwealth Carer Resource Centres Purchase appropriate short term or. can be contacted on 1800 242 636 emergency respite services. Commonwealth Carer Respite Centres, Commonwealth Carelink Centres can be contacted on 1800 059 059. To help you or someone you care for,live independently in the community.
Commonwealth Carelink Centres,provide free information about. community aged care disability and,other support services in your local area. An Australian Government Initiative, 2 Free call except from mobile phones Calls made from mobiles are charged at mobile phone rates. CO M M O N W E A LT H C A R E R R E S O U R C E C E N T R E 1 8 0 0 2 4 2 6 3 6. CA1145 25 5 04 11 35 AM Page 3,Contents Page,Deciding whether to take on a caring role 3. Taking on a caring role 4,Taking care of yourself 12.
Useful contacts 13,Resources 15,1 Deciding whether to take on a caring role. If you take on the role of providing care to your ageing parent or partner. you may find, Providing care and juggling all your responsibilities are more difficult. than you had first anticipated,It is not easy to ask others for assistance. Some family and friends are not as supportive or helpful as you. would like, The changes in your parent or partner may give you a strong feeling. of loss of the person you once knew,You feel you are on your own.
You may also find that, Caring for your parent or partner is very rewarding Lots of special. times are shared, Unexpected people may provide encouragement and assistance. Sharing your experience with others can help,The impact of caring. If you decide to take on a caring role it is important to look after yourself. as it is likely to affect your home and family life your work and your social. life The way that each person responds to or reacts to caring is different. CO M M O N W E A LT H C A R E R R E S O U R C E C E N T R E 1 8 0 0 2 4 2 6 3 6. CA1145 25 5 04 11 35 AM Page 4, Your feelings may vary over time and as the daily situation changes. You will need to take time for yourself so that you do not become. physically or emotionally run down,Relationship changes.
Your relationship with your parent or partner may change if as they age. they become increasingly dependent on you,The right to choose. Becoming a carer is not usually something that most people plan to do. It is important to think about whether this is the best option for you and. whether there are other ways to provide this care, Consider contacting the Commonwealth Carer Resource Centre for. information about what other options may be available. 2 Taking on a caring role,Becoming a carer, The amount of care you give to your parent or partner may develop. gradually as they slowly lose their independence or it may happen. suddenly because of an accident or illness, Some people remain intellectually alert and retain their vitality and drive. as they age Some need little or no assistance with everyday tasks while. others need emotional support or companionship Most people prefer to. retain their independence for as long as possible, Other people will experience deteriorating health There are some.
conditions or illnesses which are more common in people who are. ageing They include incontinence dementia diabetes arthritis stroke. heart disease osteoporosis and depression, Your parent or partner will have needs that are unique to them as they age. CO M M O N W E A LT H C A R E R R E S O U R C E C E N T R E 1 8 0 0 2 4 2 6 3 6. CA1145a 25 5 04 11 36 AM Page 5,Talk to your parent or partner. Talk to your parent or partner about lifestyle changes and their thoughts. for the future Discuss their preferences on care health and financial. matters Find out if and how they may require assistance either from you. from the family or from the community This can be very challenging if. they do not see the need for support even though their physical mental. or emotional decline is apparent, The need for planning and the urgency to plan for the future varies in. each circumstance Most people who care for an ageing parent or partner. do so gradually by taking on more and more of the responsibilities But. when there is a sudden onset of an illness accident or health condition. the change comes quickly and planning is more difficult. The following tips might be helpful when planning,Identify the needs of your parent or partner. Find out as much as you can about the illness or condition and the. implications it has for their future care needs, Identify their needs and how often help is needed whether it is.
nursing care assistance with household tasks or simply companionship. It is also important to identify the amount and type of assistance you. and your family network can and are willing to provide. Include family members and friends, It may be of benefit when your parent or partner is making major. decisions relating to their need for assistance to include the family in the. decision making If planning a family meeting, Include everyone who will be affected and may have a part in providing. support at some stage to your parent or partner, Another option is to organise a meeting with the immediate family. and have individual discussions with other relatives and friends. CO M M O N W E A LT H C A R E R R E S O U R C E C E N T R E 1 8 0 0 2 4 2 6 3 6. CA1145a 25 5 04 11 36 AM Page 6, Consider having the meeting facilitated by an outside member or. professional such as a social worker This may be particularly useful. if there are past family relationships which could make family. discussions difficult, If you have no family support there are a number of services that can.
help you Contact the Commonwealth Carer Resource Centre for. information support and advice,Identify the services needed. There are a number of services available to assist your parent or partner. to continue to live independently Keep in mind that the services available. will vary from area to area and you may need to be persistent when. asking for support Contact a Commonwealth Carelink Centre for. information on appropriate services for your ageing parent or partner. and where these are in your local area including, Assistance with practical tasks at home such as house cleaning. gardening shopping and laundry, Assistance with essential home repairs yard maintenance and safety. modifications, Aids to assist with mobility and daily living tasks. Delivery of meals to the home or meals at a centre. Assistance if unable to use or have no access to regular transport. Community Aged Care Packages i e planned and coordinated. packages of community care services available to those who wish to. remain living in their own homes and who are assessed as eligible by. an Aged Care Assessment Team ACAT as having complex care needs. Aged Care Assessment Teams ACATs can help you decide which. services you need They can help you to get residential care or a. Community Aged Care Package CACP refer you to community care. services or help you arrange respite care in a residential setting. CO M M O N W E A LT H C A R E R R E S O U R C E C E N T R E 1 8 0 0 2 4 2 6 3 6. CA1145a 25 5 04 11 36 AM Page 7, Residential aged care for frail aged people who cannot live at home.
and who have been assessed by an ACAT as needing such care. Palliative care assistance for people whose illness is life threatening. and who can no longer be cured, There is normally a charge for most of the above services However all these. services are subsidised and this fee can vary from service to service Please. keep in mind there may be waiting lists and eligibility requirements. For more information and details on what local services are available. contact the Commonwealth Carelink Centre,Seek financial and legal advice. Check whether your parent or partner has arrangements in place to. finance long term care and to protect them if they become incapable. of making decisions, Confirm if arrangements have been made for a Power of Attorney or. an Enduring Power of Attorney, A Power of Attorney is a legal document used to appoint a person. chosen to make financial decisions under certain conditions on. behalf of the person giving the authority The person appointed is. called an attorney, The decisions the attorney makes on behalf of that person have.
the same legal power as those made by the person themselves. A Power of Attorney is normally given only for specific purposes or. events It might also only be given for a specific period of time. An Enduring Power of Attorney like a Power of Attorney is a legal. document that gives another person the legal authority to make. financial and legal decisions on their behalf, The Enduring Power of Attorney cannot be created after a person is. incapacitated it can only be made by the person while they are still. capable of making decisions for themselves The document must be. signed while they have the legal capacity to do so. CO M M O N W E A LT H C A R E R R E S O U R C E C E N T R E 1 8 0 0 2 4 2 6 3 6. CA1145a 25 5 04 11 36 AM Page 8, The Enduring Power of Attorney remains effective after the person. becomes incapacitated It cannot be revoked, Banks and other organisations such as medical benefits and. telephone companies allow for another person to be nominated to. operate the account or act on behalf of the person This can be. arranged through operating the Power of Attorney or through the. person you are caring for giving signed or in some cases verbal consent. If no arrangements are in place consider the appointment of. a Guardian or Administrator, Guardianship is the legal appointment of a guardian The guardian. may be the carer or some other person, The role of the guardian is not to provide the day to day care but to.
make personal medical and lifestyle decisions on behalf of an adult. with a disability who cannot make those decisions for themselves. In some states the words impaired capacity or incapable of making. their own decisions are used instead of disability. The decisions made by the guardian are always to be made in the best. interest of the person with the disability, Public Guardian is a public official who can be appointed by the. Guardianship Board or state territory equivalent to be the guardian. of a person with a disability if there is no other person suitable or able. to be the guardian, Your family solicitor or the Guardianship Board can help you draw up. an Enduring Power of Attorney, CO M M O N W E A LT H C A R E R R E S O U R C E C E N T R E 1 8 0 0 2 4 2 6 3 6. CA1145b 25 5 04 11 36 AM Page 9, Check if a nominee has been appointed through Centrelink. Centrelink has nominee arrangements for people eligible for the age. pension who need assistance to manage their affairs The nominee can. receive correspondence make enquiries change information and receive. payment on the age pensioner s behalf This is not the same as a Power. of Attorney, For more information refer to the Carer Support Kit Legal.
Arrangements fact sheet available from the Commonwealth Carer. Resource Centre, Ask for information about financial assistance that you and. your parent or partner may be entitled to, Financial assistance is available particularly for those caring full time for. their ageing parent or partner, Carers may be paid a Centrelink payment if they are caring for someone. who is old has a disability or someone who is sick for a long time These. payments are,Carer Payment, This is paid if you need to care for someone most of the time and you. cannot work full time, Conditions apply and you will need a doctor s or health professional s.
report to help establish eligibility,Carer Allowance. This can be paid in addition to the income you already get It is. specifically there to help you in your caring role. Conditions apply and you will need a doctor s or health professional s. report to help establish eligibility, CO M M O N W E A LT H C A R E R R E S O U R C E C E N T R E 1 8 0 0 2 4 2 6 3 6. CA1145b 25 5 04 11 36 AM Page 10, There are many other benefits and entitlements that provide. financial support including,Concession and health care cards. Rental assistance,Telephone allowance,Pharmaceutical allowance.
Mobility allowance,Continence Aids assistance,Assistance with the cost of patient travel. Taxi concessions, Concessions on car registration and driver s licence. Reduced Council rates,Reduced Utilities costs electricity gas and water. A good starting point for help and information about financial assistance. is your Commonwealth Carer Resource Centre, Fully consider the financial circumstances and available assets of. your ageing parent or partner and what that may mean for long term. care options, For more information refer to the Carer Support Kit Managing Money.
fact sheet available from the Commonwealth Carer Resource Centre. CO M M O N W E A LT H C A R E R R E S O U R C E C E N T R E 1 8 0 0 2 4 2 6 3 6. CA1145b 25 5 04 11 36 AM Page 11,Other support services. Department of Veterans Affairs, This Department offers a number of programs for the veteran. community that may provide flow on benefits for partners and carers. to assist them in their caring role Programs include Veterans Home. Care VHC community nursing allied health services rehabilitation. appliances home modifications and HomeFront falls prevention. Veterans Home Care VHC, The VHC program helps veterans war widows and widowers with low. care needs to remain in their own homes for longer and provides a. range of home care services including domestic assistance personal. care respite care and safety related home and garden maintenance. The provision of services is based on assessed need To be assessed for. VHC services a person must be a war widow widower or a veteran of. the Australian defence forces and have a Gold or White Card. Services for partners and carers, Partners and carers may receive respite care if they are caring for an. eligible veteran or war widow widower They are not eligible for VHC. services unless they have their own Gold or White Card However the. needs of the household are considered as part of the assessment process. Aids and equipment, The Rehabilitation Appliances Program provides equipment aids and.
home modifications to help people to remain in their own home The. provision of these services is based on assessed clinical need of eligible. Gold and White card holders Safety items and modifications may also. be available through the HomeFront accident and falls prevention. For more information and details on the services available contact. The Department of Veterans Affairs, CO M M O N W E A LT H C A R E R R E S O U R C E C E N T R E 1 8 0 0 2 4 2 6 3 6. CA1145b 25 5 04 11 36 AM Page 12,3 Taking care of yourself. As a carer you may find that you spend so much time caring for your ageing. parent or partner that there is little or no time at all for considering your. own needs looking after your own health or maintaining friendships. We all need to take care of ourselves This is especially so for carers. The following hints from other carers might be helpful. As a carer for your parent or partner it is vital to take time to take care. of yourself and follow your own interests outside your caring role Get. into the habit of making time for yourself as a regular part of your day. If family and friends offer to help provide them with opportunities to. share in the caring role Share the tasks For example. Keep all the family members informed on a regular basis. Delegate appropriate and specific tasks to each member of the. family eg paying the bills maintaining the garden etc. You also need to take a break if you provide the majority of care to your. parent or partner Few people can care constantly without a break. Even though it is often not easy to ask for help ask family and friends. or contact a Commonwealth Carer Respite Centre to help arrange. regular breaks, You can get information on the full range of respite services and. assistance available to carers by calling your Commonwealth Carer. Respite Centre, Coping with difficult caring situations Some carers speak about feeling. under a lot of strain unappreciated put down and even abused by the. person they are providing care for This could be due to a wide range of. reasons such as the family member s illness e g dementia or brain. injury or poor family relationships If this is happening it is important. that you discuss your feelings with trusted family members or friends. CO M M O N W E A LT H C A R E R R E S O U R C E C E N T R E 1 8 0 0 2 4 2 6 3 6. CA1145d 25 5 04 11 43 AM Page 13, Alternatively discuss your feelings with staff at the Commonwealth.
Carer Resource Centre or your local Commonwealth Carer Respite. Centre They are there to help They may be able to assist you with. strategies to improve your situation, An independent outsider for example an aged care professional. your local doctor or social worker may be able to assist you. National Carer Counselling Program services are also available face to. face or by telephone where you can receive practical help and support. by a professional just call the Commonwealth Carer Resource Centre. For more information refer to the Carer Support Kit Taking Care of. Yourself fact sheet available from the Commonwealth Carer. Resource Centre,4 Useful contacts, For information about many local COMMONWEALTH CARELINK CENTRES. services and National Information 1800 052 222, Lines see the Age Page in the Provides referrals to community care. Emergency Health and Help Section disability and other support services. of your White Pages telephone book www commcarelink health gov au. CARERS AUSTRALIA COMMONWEALTH CARER,with links to state and territory RESPITE CENTRE. Carers Association sites 1800 059 059, www carersaustralia com au Commonwealth Carer Respite Centres.
coordinate access to respite services in,COMMONWEALTH CARER. your local area They can give you,RESOURCE CENTRE,advice about respite services and find. 1800 242 636 the service closest to you They can, An information referral and also help you get the right respite. counselling service for all carers services Commonwealth Carer Respite. auspiced by the Carers Association Centres work with carers to plan. in each state and territory sensible approaches to respite and. www carersaustralia com au other support needs and also arrange. 24 hour emergency respite care 13, CO M M O N W E A LT H C A R E R R E S O U R C E C E N T R E 1 8 0 0 2 4 2 6 3 6. CA1145d 25 5 04 11 43 AM Page 14,AUSTRALIAN DEPARTMENT OF DEMENTIA HELPLINE.
VETERANS AFFAIRS 24 hr service,1300 551 918 1800 639 331. Offers support services for veterans,and their families NATIONAL DEMENTIA BEHAVIOUR. www dva gov au ADVISORY SERVICE,24 hr service,CENTRELINK 1300 366 448. 13 27 17 Provides advice on managing, For enquiries on Carer Payment and behaviours of concern to those who. Carer Allowance care for a person with dementia,www centrelink gov au.
ARTHRITIS FOUNDATION OF AUSTRALIA,AGED AND COMMUNITY CARE 1800 011 041. INFORMATION LINE www arthritisfoundation com au,1800 500 853. Provides information on Community LIFELINE S JUST ASK. Aged Care Packages and residential 1300 13 11 14, care fees in Australian Government Rural information and referral service. funded facilities for people with mental health, www health gov au acc problems including depression and. their families and friends,WWW SENIORS GOV AU www justask org au.
Provides older Australians with, information about the services CANCER COUNCIL AUSTRALIA. programs and benefits that are Cancer Helpline,currently available to them across 131 120. Australia It addresses the needs of www cancer org au. both dependent older people and,healthy older people CONTINENCE FOUNDATION. OF AUSTRALIA,TECHNICAL AID TO THE DISABLED Helpline. 02 9808 2022 1800 330 066, Make and supply custom designed www continence org au.
aids where commercial equipment is,not suitable DIABETES AUSTRALIA. www technicalaidnsw org au Helpline,1300 136 588, ALZHEIMER S AUSTRALIA www diabetesaustralia com au. includes Dementia,14 www alzheimers org au, CO M M O N W E A LT H C A R E R R E S O U R C E C E N T R E 1 8 0 0 2 4 2 6 3 6. CA1145e 25 5 04 11 44 AM Page 15,MOTOR NEURONE DISEASE 5 Resources. ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA,1800 806 632 Carer Support Kit.
NATIONAL BRAIN INJURY Available from the Commonwealth. FOUNDATION INC Carer Resource Centre,www carersaustralia com au. including strokes,02 6282 2880 Includes factsheets on. Services for You,NATIONAL STROKE FOUNDATION,Taking a Break. 1800 787 653 Managing Money,www strokefoundation com au. PALLIATIVE CARE AUSTRALIA Legal Arrangements,02 6232 4433 Safety at Home.
Caring for people with a terminal Loss and Grief,illness as well as their families and. Taking Care of Yourself,www pallcare org au Managing Health Care. Emergency Care Kit,PARKINSON S AUSTRALIA INC and Medications. 1800 644 189,www parkinsons org au Australian Department. of Health and Ageing,RELATIONSHIPS AUSTRALIA www ageing health gov au.
1300 364 277 Aged Care make the choices that, Offers resources to couples individuals are right for you. and families to enhance and support Quality Care for Older Australians. relationships Home and Community Care HACC,www relationships com au. Quality Care for Older Australians,TELEPHONE INTERPRETER SERVICE. Community Aged Care Packages,131 450 Quality Care for Older Australians. 24 hr translating and interpreting How Aged Care Assessment Teams. service for people who ACATs Can Help You,do not speak English What you need to know about.
www immi gov au tis residential aged care,An Australian Government Initiative. Free call except from mobile phones Calls made from mobiles are charged at mobile phone rates 15. CO M M O N W E A LT H C A R E R R E S O U R C E C E N T R E 1 8 0 0 2 4 2 6 3 6.

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