A little care for the carers

Meg Pickup, Ballina

It’s National Carers Week, an opportunity to raise awareness about primary carers and their diverse caring roles.

Anyone, at any time, may become a carer. Their outstanding contribution deserves acknowledgement, and to be celebrated. With no formal training the more than 2.7 million carers in Australia give 36 million hours of care and support every week to family or friends with disability or illness, or to those who need support in later life. This saves the public purse $1.1 billion per week.

These unsung heroes wash bodies, do laundry, and dishes; keep appointments, records, and tempers; give medication, time, and hugs; wipe faces, bench counters, and bottoms; fill forms, fridges, and silences; and deal with doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, care workers, Centrelink and a lack of sleep. Amidst all this they need support to lead their own life. Take the time to acknowledge carers for their selflessness – every day, not just this week.

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