Remember the aeroplane safety briefings that tell you to always put on your mask before fitting a dependant’s mask? When someone you love is in your care, it is critical to have your own health and wellbeing needs met, to be of greatest value to them as their carer. Caring for someone close to you can enhance and strengthen your bond with them, but the role might mean giving up financial, social and wellbeing opportunities and you might soon find your energy reserves depleted before any focus on you can occur. At Home Care Assistance, our Care Workers are both encouraged and supported to prioritise their wellbeing, but without the backing of a home care agency you might need a little reminder about the support and services available to you when you are providing in-home care services or palliative care at home for a loved one. Thankfully, the Carer Gateway exists, and is your one-stop shop for emotional, practical, and financial support for you, as you care for your loved one.
Did you know that there are over 2.65 million unpaid family or friend carers across Australia1? Many of whom are providing more than 40 hours a week of care for their loved one2. Providing in-home care services to a loved one is an act of love, but in practical terms it can involve a myriad of daily living tasks such as dressing, mobility support, showering, toileting, feeding, transport, management of medications, life administration not to mention emotional and social support. The government has recognised that without continuing support by family and friend carers of people ageing in place, the aged care system and in-home care services could be overwhelmed.
Provision of the Carer Gateway recognises the need to support the wellbeing of carers and enables family and friend carer roles to be sustainable, offering a range of free services and support exclusively for carers. You don’t need to be receiving a government carer payment to make use of Carer Gateway, services are offered Australian-wide and can be accessed in-person, online and over the phone. Accessing the Carer Gateway is easy, simply give them a call directly on 1800 422 737 or check them out online.
There is a fabulous range of options designed to meet the various needs of people providing in-home care services for loved ones, including:
- In-person and online peer support groups – sharing stories and experiences with others in the same boat can be really reassuring and provide you with some practical tips and advice or a valuable sounding board. You can do this with people in your area or you can join the carer forum online.
- Tailored support packages – whilst it can feel that way, you don’t have to do this role alone, and there are a range of practical supports like planned respite and transport services to help you in your in-home care role.
- In-person and phone counselling – sometimes a trained professional is the best person to chat with if you are feeling stressed, anxious, sad, or frustrated in your role as an in-home carer. Counselling can easily occur over the phone to fit in with your availability.
- In-person and online self-guided coaching – we love that life coaching is so much more accessible now, and Carer Gateway also offers in-home carers a professional coach to reflect on your experience and needs, identify personal goals and create a plan to reach these goals. Alternatively, you can work through interactive online coaching sessions at your own pace.
- Online skills courses – most of us find ourselves in the role of in-home carer with little forewarning or planning, so it’s common that we might not be up to speed with the skills needed to fulfill our caring role to the same level as a professional in-home care agency. That’s where the online courses offered on Carer Gateway can help to support both your wellbeing and understanding of more complex areas like legal responsibilities to empower you to be the best in-home carer you can.
- Access to emergency respite – despite the best of intentions, life will still throw lemons at you when caring for the elderly, and you may suddenly find you can’t provide in-home care. In-home care services such as Home Care Assistance can be a powerful addition to your address book in your phone and provide you peace of mind, knowing you have a backup plan for emergencies.
The chance to support a loved one with in-home care, or palliative care in the home brings with it the humbling opportunity to return the lifetime of love and care shown to you, but it is not without its challenges. The many supports available through the Carer Gateway are there for the taking and will help ease some of the burden in your role as an in-home carer for your loved ones. Knowing these supports and services are readily at hand can help you feel less alone, as well as empowered to be the best in-home carer you can be. Home Care Assistance is right there with you and understands the role of in-home carer and the importance of self-care and support. We are only a phone call away too to provide an empathetic ear or respite anytime you need.
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As a leading age care provider, Home Care Assistance offers tailored in-home care services for older Australians, enabling them to live happier and healthier lives in the comfort of their own homes.
We offer private and government subsidised Care Packages and have office locations that are a registered NDIS provider. Our Care Workers undergo extensive training in order to deliver unmatched in-home aged care services where people can continue ageing in place. We are proud ambassadors of the My Aged Care government funded aged care program, enabling Australians to successfully navigate the process and gain approval for in-home care support packages. Home Care Assistance offers hourly care, specialised care, Alzheimer’s and Dementia care, hospital to home care, and 24 hour in home care.