850,000 reasons to care during National Carers Week

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More than 850,000 unpaid carers around the state are being recognised this week as the NSW Government, service providers and the community celebrates National Carers Week.

Minister with responsibility for Carers Jodie Harrison said this year’s theme – ‘Millions of Reasons to Care’ – acknowledges the important role carers play helping others.

“Caring for a loved one takes enormous dedication and strength, and this is a week to highlight the vital work carers do,” Minister Harrison said.

“There is no job description for a carer. They do whatever needs to be done. This can include helping people perform their daily routines, cooking, cleaning or driving them to medical appointments.

“These selfless individuals in our community don’t look for public thanks and praise but their incredible efforts need to be recognised and celebrated.”

In NSW, carers support people for a range of reasons, including disability, mental health conditions, chronic illness, age, dementia or drug and alcohol dependency. Caring is nearly twice as prevalent in Aboriginal communities and almost 80,000 carers are young people 25 years or younger.

Carers NSW CEO, Elena Katrakis, said it is important carers look after their own health and wellbeing and for people to know there is support available if they need it.

“Many people don’t think of themselves as ‘carers.’ They simply see themselves as a husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter or friend looking after someone they love,” Ms Katrakis said.

“It can be incredibly rewarding work, but tough. So, taking time to look after yourself is the best way to be able to take care of others.”

As part of the 2023-24 Budget, the NSW Government is investing $5.1 million in targeted programs and supports for carers, including funding for programs under the NSW Carers Strategy 2020-2030 and funding for initiatives operated by Carers NSW, such as the Young Carers Program.

If you are a carer, there is a range of resources and supports available for you. Find out more at www.carergateway.gov.au or call 1800 422 737. National Carers Week runs from Sunday 15 to Saturday 21 October 2023 and there are plenty of activities across NSW to celebrate carers. Check them out at carersweek.com.au/events/.

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