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Advice on caring for the elderly

Anyone from partners to brothers, sisters, children or friends can find themselves providing support to a person who needs help. Your friend or relative may have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, or be too elderly to take care of themselves.

Being a carer can be very rewarding, but sometimes also challenging and stressful. It helps to be aware of all the support networks available to help you fulfil your supporting roles.

Where to start

Often care is required when something happens or a situation changes.

Find out where to start, especially if you need to care for someone suddenly—for example, if they have suffered a stroke or heart attack.

Read about supporting people with a specific health condition—where you might be dealing with gradual physical changes.

Carer support

As a carer, you may feel a range of emotions including:

  • anger or resentment—as your life has now changed
  • guilt—about feeling anger or resentment
  • frustration or impatience—as the person you’re caring for cannot do things they used to do, or now does things slower.

There are many different resources offering support for carers including carer support groups which provide emotional support, advice, and the chance to meet and talk with other carers.

Financial support

Carers can access a range of discounts and financial support options.

The Carers Utopia CARE Program offer carers discounts on a range of products and essential services.

Help for young carers

Young carers are children and young people aged up to 25 who care for a family member or friend.

For free advice, counselling and support, contact:

In-home care

If the person you’re caring for would like to stay living at home, and is under 65, check if they are eligible for Community Care services.

Simple home modifications could make the difference between someone receiving care at home, or having to move into an aged care home.

Read more information to help people stay at home and in the community for longer.

Aged care homes

An aged care home is a safe environment offering quality care and services for elderly people who can no longer live at home.

Read about aged care homes, including how to find:

  • an aged care assessment team to work out if you can or should enter an aged care home
  • aged care homes near you.

Read more about housing options for the elderly, or contact the Aged Care Information Line on 1800 200 422.

More information

  • Carers Utopia—provides carers with information, education, training, advocacy, counselling and other support services. Contact their Carer Advisory Service on 1800 242 636 for more information.
  • Aged Care Australia—lists useful contacts as well as providing a starting point to find out about many of the services which can help carers.
  • Mental health carers—provides information and resources specifically relating to mental health.
  • Service providers for older carers—get help finding respite care.

Find a carer

A Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre can help you find a carer by referring you to relevant service providers. Phone them on 1800 052 222.

Urgent support and counselling

If a person's life is in danger, call Triple Zero (000) immediately to get help.

If you need counselling and support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Salvo Care Line on 1300 363 622 (24 hours).

For respite support, contact your nearest Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on 1800 052 222.

For emergency respite support outside standard business hours, you can call your nearest centre on 1800 059 059.

Carer Business Discount Card

If you receive a Centrelink carer payment or carers allowance and live in Utopia, you are eligible for a Carer Business Discount Card, which recognises the contribution carers make to the community and provides discounts on products and services.

Last updated
01 September 2014

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