More than one in ten people in New South Wales is a carer.

A carer provides ongoing care and support to a family member or friend because they have a disability, chronic, terminal or mental illness or because they are aging.

Many carers may not see themselves as a carer. They may not identify as a carer because they are the person's parent, sister, friend. However as a carer they have extra responsibilities because the person they help has a disability, is unwell or frail.

People with caring responsibilities come from all walks of life, cultural backgrounds and age groups. Becoming a carer can happen to anyone, anytime.

A carer isn't paid but might receive the carer allowance or the carer payment. What a carer does will depend on what the person that they care for needs. They may help for a few hours a week or all day, every day. It's very important to know when a patient has a carer so that we can include them as a partner in the patient's care. When we include the patient and their carer in discussions about their treatment and health care everybody benefits.

Patients and their carers tell us that they have a better experience when they are able to talk to and work with the doctors, nurses and other staff.

When we involve the carer there is less risk that the patient will come back to hospital unnecessarily. A patient can also be a carer. 

When a carer is in hospital, it's important to know that their family member or friend is still getting the support they need at home.

Take the time to talk to and listen to carers. They know the person that they care for and support. [Music]

Current as at: Thursday 10 October 2019
Contact page owner: Health and Social Policy