Partnering with carers - key priorities
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There are over two and a half million carers across Australia caring for people with all kinds of needs. Of this number, 245,000 people are living as unpaid carers in South Australia. Unpaid carers play an important role in supporting loved ones with a disability, frailty, mental illness or chronic condition to live their best possible life.
National Carers Week is an opportunity to promote carers and showcase the amazing work they do. It also provides an opportunity to educate the community about the role of carers and the types of carers that are out there.
SA Health uses National Carers Week as a celebration of all carers who are currently living in South Australian – thank you!
Not all carers see themselves as a carer. For example, you might think that caring for someone who has a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, dementia, alcohol or drug related problem or someone who is elderly is a commitment that is expected of you as a family member/friend. Do you know that this makes you a carer and may mean you are entitled to government assistance and support services?
If you provide unpaid care and support to a person with specific needs, regardless of whether the care you provide is for one hour a day or 24/7, you are likely to be a ‘carer’ with help available for you. Please refer to the Australian Government supported Carer Gateway for more information.
Are you a carer who provides support to a person with a mental illness? For information and resources to help, visit the Mental health carers page.
SA Health recognises that there are many employees with caring responsibilities, and we encourage staff who are carers to read the SA Health Flexible Workplaces Policy Directive (PDF 412KB) and guideline for details on managing your work and carer duties.
Carers SA has a key role in leading change and empowering carers to participate in a partnership with government and health community sectors for the provision of better services to improve the conditions under which carers work. Carer organisations support and empower carers through services such as carer help and advice, counselling, education and training and respite.
Resources are available to provide an overview of how you can partner with health care staff, tips for your wellbeing and a map with contact details of carer support organisations across South Australia. Taking care of your mental and physical health will increase the likelihood to stay well so that you can continue to support the person you are caring for.
The Carer Gateway is a national online service providing practical information and resources to support carers for example, coaching and counselling, financial advice, access to emergency crisis support, respite information and an online forum connecting carer communities.
The SA Health Partnering with Carers Strategic Action Plan 2017-2020 (PDF 381KB) was developed in collaboration with Carers SA to recognise and empower, through our commitment to ensure better carer engagement in health care decisions. The SA Health Partnering with Carers Strategic Action Plan 2017-2020 examines key issues and identifies priorities relevant to partnering with carers and the community.
Other key documents:
The SA Health Partnering with Carers Policy Directive (463KB) was developed with Carers SA, Health Consumers Alliance (SA) and carer representatives to reflect the priorities and needs of unpaid carers and establish principles and standards.
The Policy Directive identifies what is important to carers, based on feedback from carers and includes clearly defined roles and responsibilities for SA Health staff.