National Carers Week: Thanks from the heart

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GENEROUS: One in eight Australians provide unpaid care and support to a family member or friend with a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness or who is frail aged.

GENEROUS: One in eight Australians provide unpaid care and support to a family member or friend with a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness or who is frail aged.

There are many ways you can show your thanks for Australia’s unpaid carers and help raise awareness for everything they do.

National Carers Week 2017, which runs from October 15-21 is a chance to recognise and celebrate the contributions of Australia’s 2.7 million unpaid carers.

One in eight Australians provide unpaid care and support to a family member or friend with a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness or who is frail aged. 

Carers make an enormous contribution to our communities as well as the national economy and National Carers Week provides you with a chance to show your appreciation.

Visit the website, www.carersweek.com.au, and take a couple of minutes to say thanks.

By doing so, you can help demonstrate the considerable community support for Australia’s carers.

You can also help raise awareness by rounding up workmates, friends and family for a National Carers Week event, drawing attention to who carers are, what they do and how they can access services and supports.

Organise a morning or afternoon tea, fundraiser or workshop to raise awareness of the diversity of carers and the roles they perform, and take advantage of the opportunity to inform friends and colleagues of the support services available to carers.

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You can advertise your own National Carers Week event and help spread the word through your social media channels with the hashtags #Carers2017 #carerscount

Becoming a carer-friendly workplace and providing flexible working conditions for carers makes sense for employers and employees.

The Work and Care initiative helps employers attract and retain experienced workers by helping employee carers combine paid work with their caring role, and helps long-term carers on income support transition into employment when their caring role has ceased or is reduced.

There are many reasons carers work while providing unpaid care, from financial necessity to social interaction. There will be times when balancing these two roles is challenging.

Help make sure Carers Count by ordering a Work and Care information pack and becoming a registered Carer‑Friendly Workplace.

The facts

  • There are 2.7 million carers in Australia who provide unpaid care and support.
  • 272,000 carers are under 25, which equates to around one in 10.
  • Around 856,000 carers (32 per cent) are primary carers – those who provide the most informal assistance to another individual.
  • The weekly median income of primary carers 15–64 was 42 per cent lower than that of non-carers.
  • Carers provide 1.9 billion of unpaid care annually.
  • The annual replacement value of that care (by paid care workers) is estimated at $60.3 billion.
  • 56 per cent of primary carers 15–64 participate in the workforce, compared to 80 per cent of non-carers.

Information from ABS and Carers Australia

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