There are a number of ways to get involved this National Carers Week.
The easiest way to show carers how much they count is to say thanks and help build a carer-friendly Australia.
Show carers how much they count with your own event
We're asking everyone to get involved in National Carers Week by attending or hosting a National Carers Week event. This can be a morning tea, afternoon tea, a walk or some other activity.
Help raise awareness this National Carers Week by rounding up workmates, friends and family for a social event and drawing attention to who carers are, what they do and how they can access services and supports.
Organise a morning or afternoon tea, fundraiser or workshop to raise awareness of the diversity of carers and caring roles in Australia.
Unpaid carers often find it hard to take time out. By organising your own event you are providing an opportunity for carers to take that time, whilst also informing friends and colleagues of the support services available and encouraging greater appreciation of carers’ contribution.
Make your workplace carer-friendly
You may want to consider whether your workplace is sufficiently carer-friendly and encourage employers to sign up to the Work an Care initiative and become a carer-friendly workplace.
Becoming a carer-friendly workplace which provides flexible and supportive working conditions for carers makes sense for employers and employees alike.
The Work and Care initiative helps employers to attract and retain experienced workers by helping employee carers combine paid work with their caring role – something which will become increasingly valuable with our ageing population.
Carers Australia has produced resources for both employers and employees to help produce more sustainable businesses and meet the demographic challenges faced by our economy.
Check below for ideas on the number of ways you can get involved with National Carers Week and show your support of Australia’s 2.8 million carers, whether as an individual, employer, public figure or member of a community group.
When individuals show their support, it can make a great collective difference. By raising awareness as an individual, you can help to increase self-identification among carers.
- Show your support by offering your thanks, hosting an event, downloading and displaying a poster or promoting carer-friendly workplaces
- Contact your local MP via Facebook or Twitter and ask them to publicly support National Carers Week
- Write to your local MP or council asking how they will be supporting National Carers Week this year
- If you are employed, ask your HR Department or manager if you can circulate information on National Carers Week among your colleagues, or speak to HR directly regarding the Work and Care initiative.
Elected representatives have a fantastic reach among local communities and the wider population. The decisions you make can go a long way to helping carers in your constituency.
- Show your support for carers by offering your thanks online, hosting an event or downloading and displaying a poster
- Use your constituency meetings to advertise sources of support for carers
- Raise carers’ concerns at all levels of debate
- If you feel comfortable doing so, share any caring experiences you may have had to illustrate how caring can affect all walks of life
General Practitioners have a high degree of daily exposure to carers and those they care for. A GP clinic is therefore an ideal place to create a hub of relevant information
- Encourage carer identification by displaying information in your surgery on carers and the supports available, or having a carer noticeboard in the waiting room
- Issue letters to patients whose condition suggests they are likely to have a carer – this could include information on available supports and help encourage carer identification
Many patients in hospitals will at some point be attended to by a relative or friend in a caring capacity. By supporting carers as part of the overall care team, the patient themselves becomes better supported. During National Carers Week you can:
- Set-up information stands helping to connect carers and families to available supports
- Ensure that staff are aware of carers as part of the care team, and that they may have valuable input as well as their own care needs
- Introduce carer-friendly policies, such as allowing some carers to spend time with the person for whom they care outside of visiting hours
Pharmacies and community health services often have a greater interaction with carers than many other service providers. You can take advantage of this contact by:
- Advertising the availability of local supports and services and other information to aid carer-identification
- Advising and assisting carers on the administration of medication and its potential side effects
There is a high probability that you will have carers within your community group, particularly if your group has a high percentage of older people or women. Many carers do not identify the support they provide as caring and often miss out on services and supports as a result.
This National Carers Week you could:
- Talk about caring for relatives and friends at one of your meetings
- Invite someone along to a meeting to speak about caring
- Email links to support and information to your group members
- If any members of your group are carers and often have difficulty attending meetings, can you do anything to assist them? Offer them lifts to and from meetings? Be flexible with meeting scheduling?
There are over 300,000 young carers in Australia, many of whom juggle their caring responsibilities with their education. All levels of education and training therefore have an important role to play. You can take action this National Carers Week by:
- Taking steps to find out what you can do to identify any pupils or students who have caring responsibilities, then supporting them to get the help they need to ensure their studies are not affected
- Provide flexible working conditions for any staff who are carers
- Make sure that staff are aware of the age-appropriate supports available to any students who have caring responsibilities
- Promote your support of National Carers Week via our downloadable material
Approximately 1 in 8 Australian employees is a carer trying to balance their caring responsibilities with their work life. This can often become unsustainable without vital support and flexibility. To support those in your workforce this National Carers Week, you can:
- Take the first steps to becoming a carer-friendly workplace via the Work and Care initiative.
- Promote your support of National Carers Week via an intranet network or around the workplace by hosting an event, downloading and displaying a poster, making a free pledge online or getting together and singing along with the Time to Take a Break song.
- HR Departments can use Carers Week to highlight positive messages and the supports available to carers