The Carer’s Foundation has been established to address the very real issues facing Carers in our community, who work 24 hours a day without pay.
Carers SAVE the Australian community BILLIONS of dollars with the care and support they give to the care recipient. Carers play a crucial role in our community—often without realising it.
The majority of these carers provide this valuable service 24 hours a day without pay. They do it out of love and expect nothing in return.
The Objectives of the Carer Foundation are to support carers with these goals:
- Nurture & Nourish
These objectives are aimed at addressing the impact and challenges of Caring, which include:
- Health & Wellbeing – It is a documented fact that carers have the lowest levels of wellbeing of any Australian group. Issues arise for carers when they stop looking after themselves and focus entirely on the person whom they are looking after. Usually, this leads to poor physical and mental health and leads to a downward spiral in their day to day coping.
- Financial Hardship – 50% of PRIMARY CARERS are on a low income with many finding it hard to cover living expenses, save money or have the opportunity to accumulate or preserve superannuation. Add to this the cost of extra expenses such as medical, disability aids, health care and transport, the overall cost can be enormous.
- Social Isolation – Providing care takes both a lot of energy and time. Carers are more likely than the general population to have little face-to-face contact with friends or relatives outside the household, especially when caring for someone with high level care needs. Carers often begin to socially withdraw from friends and relatives. This often results in increasing isolation and loneliness, leading to severe depression and suicidal thoughts.
- Physical Injuries – Musculoskeletal injuries as a direct result of providing care. Mostly back injuries, generally caused by lifting, lowering or carrying, ie manual handling tasks.
- Frustration – Carers often miss out on important social relationships, including those associated with work, recreation and leisure pursuits, which leaves them feeling very frustrated. Often frustration experienced by a carer turns into anger directed at the person with being cared for.
- Severe Mental Health including Depression and Frustration –Carers are the largest group in Australia with mental illness. For many carers feeling sad or hopeless and a general sense that things will never get better, is a daily concern. Recent research has shown that one in six family carers have seriously contemplated killing themselves and 20 per cent of those are likely to attempt suicide in the future.
- Extreme Stress & Exhaustion – More than one third of carers are experiencing severe or extreme stress. Anxiety – Sleeplessness – Emotional volatility- Concentration problems – all lead to chronic stress and associated health problems.
The urgency is to prevent health crisis breakdown in carers with the rejuvenation and education programs. The programs not only benefit the carers; as the health and wellbeing of the carer impacts immediately on the carers recipient, but their immediate family, and the community.