More than two-thirds of Australian carers are women, almost all of them care for a family member and the average age of carers is 55 years old, so Jenny Smith is pretty much your average carer.
What makes the Calderwood resident's situation unique is that she not only cares for her elderly mother, she also helps care for her two siblings who both have an intellectual disability.
Not that she's complaining, she loves them all dearly. All she's asking for is a little respite - to spend some time with her husband knowing that her mum and siblings are in safe hands.
Yet a lack of funding, and availability, of in-home respite for all three means she rarely gets time off, especially on weekends or public holidays.
"I've been living with and caring for my sister, brother and mum for around five years - although I only get a carer's payment for my sister," Mrs Smith said.
"However I got married last December and my husband lives in Newcastle, so I'm just trying to get some time off to spend with him.
"Mum gets some respite care on a Thursday, but it's difficult to access on weekends - maybe service providers don't want to pay penalty rates?
"And it's complicated - we haven't been able to access an NDIS package for my sister yet; and while my brother gets funding under the NDIS, it doesn't include respite.
"So we can only access respite for mum - not for my siblings too, so I can't leave them. I don't know where to turn."
The need to improve access to respite care for carers has been one of six issues highlighted by their peak body ahead of the Federal election. Carers Australia national policy manager Sue Elderton said they'd been seeking a commitment by the two major parties to improve the lives of carers.
"The Labor Party has pledged $66 million over three years to boost respite. Labor has calculated this as the equivalent of 42,000 extra overnight care sessions," she said.
"Our understanding is that this funding is on top of the carer funding announced in the 2019-20 Federal Budget (in which) the government committed $84.3 million over four years to carer support.
"This included an increase in the number of financial support packages which can contribute to taking a short break in family caring."
According to the 2015 Australian Bureau of Statistics Survey on Disability, Ageing and Carers, 26 per cent of primary carers had been caring for between five to nine years and 28 per cent had been caring for between 10 to 24 years.
A third were providing care for 40 hours or more per week, and 19 per cent for between 20 and 39 hours.
Ms Elderton said there were a number of ways family and friend carers could get access to respite, and the rules differed according to whether the person being cared for was over or under the age of 65.
This made it very difficult to co-ordinate relief services for carers like Mrs Smith who were caring for an aged person and a person with disability under the age of 65.
However she said adequate respite was vital as many carers experienced stress due to their, often unpaid or lowly paid, role.
"The capacity to take some time off can provide carers with a period of relief from such stressors and an opportunity to re-charge their batteries," she said.
"Replacement care in the home can provide opportunities to catch up on much needed sleep. It can also contribute to their capacity to provide quality care."
Carers Australia will continue to lobby the party successful in this weekend's election to address the issues, which also include ending lengthy waiting periods for access to home care packages.
Mrs Smith said: "Mum has been assessed as needing a high-level home care package, yet she's on the waiting list and has been told she'll be waiting at least 12 months.
"She gets a half hour of personal care three days a week, respite care for three hours on a Thursday and some cleaning.
"But if I wasn't in that house with my mum, she'd be going into care. She couldn't live on her own, looking after my two siblings - and her wish is for them to be together.
"The government claim they want to help older people to stay living at home, yet they're not making it easy for that to happen.
"I'm happy to look after mum, Julie and Tony - but when the system doesn't support you, you feel let down."
Mrs Smith said aged care providers also needed to look at different models of care, citing IRT's Kemira facility at Kanahooka which enables people with intellectual disabilities to live with their ageing parents.
"There's nothing for parents with two children with disabilities though," she said.