Who are Carers WA?
A carer is someone who provides unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue, or who are frail aged.
Over 2.9 million Australians provide help and support to a family member or friend, saving the Australian community more than $60 billion per year.
An estimated 320,000 Western Australians provide unpaid care and support to a family member or friend who requires help due to illness, disability or frail age.
Who can be a Carer?
Carers range in age from as young as eight to people well into their nineties.
More than one in eight Australians are carers. Of these carers, over 320,000 are providing either substantial or full-time care in WA.
Two thirds of carers are women and most carers provide care for a parent, partner, child or friend.
Carers WA helps carers in any caring situation.
How do people become Carers?
People become carers in many different ways for a variety of reasons. Each circumstance is unique.
Sometimes the caring role happens gradually – helping out more and more as a person’s health and independence decline over time. Sometimes it happens suddenly due to an accident or illness.
What do Carers do?
Every care situation is different.
Some carers provide 24 hour nursing aid to a family member or friend with high care needs. They may assist with daily needs and routines such as feeding, bathing, dressing and administering medications.
Others care for people who are relatively independent but require someone to keep an eye on them or assist them with tasks such as banking, transport, housework and shopping.
Carers are integral in providing comfort, encouragement and reassurance to the person they care for. They oversee their health and wellbeing, monitor their safety and help them retain their independence and quality of life.
Other types of carers
The term ‘carer’ is often used to describe people who are not eligible for supports by Carers WA. These include those below:
- Paid carers, also known as carers, caregivers, support workers or care workers: are paid a salary or hourly rate to look after people with care needs
- Foster carers: are people or families who are paid or reimbursed to look after children or young people with or without special care needs in their own home
- Host Families: are families or people who volunteer or are paid to care for people with or without special care needs in their own home on a short or longer term basis.
- Parents and Guardians: live with or look after a child (under 18) who has no special care needs but who may be referred to as their ‘carer’
- Kinship carers: are relatives or close friends who look after children and young people with no special care needs and who are unable to live with their families. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, a kinship carer may be another Indigenous person who is a member of their community.
Who do Carers WA support?
Carers WA assist people who provide unpaid care and support to family members or friends who have disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue, or who are frail aged.
- You do not need to live with the person you care for
- You do not need to be the main source of care and support
- You do not have to provide care every day or over many years
- You do not have to receive the Carer Payment or Allowance from Centrelink
For more information
Visit our section on “Carers WA Services” for information about the services and programs that assist carers and their families to adjust and cope with their role as carer, or contact Carers WA directly.
Carers WA: 1300 CARERS (1300 227 377) 8.30am – 4.30pm
Carers Counselling Line: Freecall 1800 007 332 8.00am – 5.00pm
(Calls from mobile phones are charged at applicable rates. Carers WA welcome mobile users to leave their number for a Counsellor to contact them).
Carers WA acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.