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Support for Carers

Caring for a loved one through their end of life journey can be difficult for carers. Learn more about end of life and what you can do for yourself or the person you care for.

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Support for carers and families 

The term ‘carer’ refers to a friend, family member or neighbour who is looking after someone who is unwell, providing them with emotional support, practical assistance and in some cases personal care.  Most carers begin caring because a family member or friend needs care and assistance.  Although for many of us we would not have it any other way, it can at times become tiring, we may lose the ability to tend to our own needs, and caring can have a real impact on our own lives and wellbeing. 

Carers need support to assist them in providing care in a manner that also promotes their health, wellbeing and personal aspirations. These include:

  • improved access to timely in-home support (including services, equipment, information, education and resources)
  • expanded access to planned and emergency respite care services to support carers
  • early identification of carers’ emotional and physical health needs, including during bereavement
  • addressing carers’ needs for greater financial support, including prompt access to the carers allowance
  • information and support if they are the person’s substitute decision-maker (attorney, enduring guardian or medical treatment decision maker)
  • carer-sensitive workplace policies that support flexible working hours and leave arrangements for carers of people receiving palliative care or end-of-life care.

If you need assistance in finding out about, or accessing these support services, you can talk to your own health professional or the palliative care team that is looking after the person you are caring for. To find palliative care services in your area, click here.

For more information about paediatric palliative care, click here.

For more information about the National Register of Palliative Care Consumers and Carers, click here.

Caregiver Network

A Caregiver Network Facilitator works with carers who are caring for someone who is a patient/client (of Southern Adelaide Palliative Services) with a diagnosis of a life-limiting illness.  We visit you at a time and a place that suits you, usually in your own home.  Together we review how things are and where the gaps may be that could assist you in this rewarding and yet at times challenging role.  For example: 

  • Ensuring that you have all the financial benefits and concessions that you are entitled to 
  • Possibly you may benefit from some respite that will give you time to yourself whilst someone stays at home with the person you are caring for 
  • You may be at a point where more time may be beneficial and residential respite for a week or two may be the answer 
  • Assistance with transport, home care, personal care, meals may be areas of concern for you 

In consultation with you, the Caregiver Network Facilitator will identify and mobilise local supports within your own networks of friends, relatives, neighbours, work colleagues and acquaintances to assist.  The Caregiver Network Facilitator can assist you to access and complete various forms for benefits or concessions, provide information, advocate on your behalf and be a sounding board and provide a listening ear. 

The Caregiver Network Facilitator’s role is one of providing information, emotional support and linkages with services and organisations who can assist. 

To be a good carer you need:

  • an understanding of some of the challenges associated with palliative care
  • to learn when to help and when not to
  • to provide the person a sense of independence and choice over their daily living
  • to not take over
  • knowledge about who to go to for help in such things as medication and pain relief
  • to have survival strategies
  • to be honest in your relationship
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Carers suffer from:

  • icon pen Frustration / Anger
  • icon pen Fatigue / Sleep disorders
  • icon pen Resentment
  • icon pen Social isolation / Loneliness
  • icon pen Stress
  • icon pen Anxiety / Depression

Carers need:

  • icon pen Encouragement / Emotional support
  • icon pen Information
  • icon pen Recognition
  • icon pen A listening ear / Opportunity to express frustration
  • icon pen A good night's sleep
  • icon pen Quality time away
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