Who is a Carer?
A Carer is a partner (spouse), family member, friend, or neighbour, who provides care and assistance to another person. Care is most often regular and sustained over time without payment other than a Carer Payment or Carer Allowance from Centrelink - this is not considered a wage.
Carers provide support to people:
- who are aged/frail
- with disabilities
- with mental illness
- with dementia
- with a terminal illness
- living with HIV/AIDS
- with alcohol or other drug dependency
Some examples of the help they provide are:
- Doing the weekly grocery shopping
- Cooking meals
- Doing housework
- Taking the person they care for to medical appointments
- Helping the person with showering, dressing and other personal care
For different reasons, most family members and friends don't think of themselves as Carers first. They think of themselves as partner, mother, brother, sister, aunt, friend or neighbour. But other people will often refer to them as being Carers.
People who are paid to provide care to others who are aged and frail, have a disability, chronic illness or condition are often mistakenly called Carers - they are care workers or paid carers.