Carers do the noble job of helping others without getting much in return. While as precious as the act is, carers are also humans with needs. These needs may be financial, physical, and emotional.
They have to provide for themselves and their families, and they also need help when it comes to their mental health.
Caretaking is a full-time job, and even ones paid for it aren’t paid well enough. It is the responsibility of the government to make sure that the people helping others aren’t left helpless.
This article has discussed the needs of carers and what the government is doing to help them.
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What Kind Of Help Carers Need?
They have all the basic needs that any human being has. Having a roof over the head, warm meals thrice a day, and good clothes to wear. Young carers need to pay for their educational expenses, medical assistance, and emotional health as well.
The needs of carers can be broadly categorized into three types.
1. Financial Needs
Carers have to pay for the cost of their existence. The cost of living includes fulfilling basic needs like food, shelter, and clothing.
If a carer falls sick, they need medical assistance to cover their hospital bills. Carers need to provide for their families as well. If they have children, their school fees are an expense for a person providing help for others free of cost.
Young caregivers need to pay for their schools and colleges to get desired education. They also need to pay for transportation to reach the residence of the person they are looking after.
2. Physical Needs
Being a human being, a carer needs to get some rest too. Sometimes it happens that a carer has to give an overnight duty for an elderly or child in need of special care. This can be exhausting.
Carers need to have some help with providing care to others. Sometimes they need counselling. Sometimes they need legal assistance, in case a legal case has occurred.
3. Emotional/Mental Needs
A person can only provide help for others when he/she is emotionally stable. Caregivers have to deal with people of all colours and types. Sometimes the elderly can be hard to deal with. Or the needy have some kind of medical condition that can be a little too much for the carer’s mental health.
In such cases, a carer needs help to replenish their mental health. Someone who can provide them with advice on how to deal with such cases, or a peer who can share their experience.
How the Government is Catering to These Needs?
The government of Australia has launched a program called Carer Gateway that provides help for carers and caters to their needs. This program is being operated through a website that provides online and offline assistance to all the carers living in Australia.
Here are some of the ways they are helping caregivers.
Counselling is providing advice to the carers about the concerned issue. The counselling is done by professional helpers who know their job well. Carers can seek help from these professionals.
On-phone counselling allows carers to take help from the experts at any time of the day. It is particularly useful for those people who are unable to take out time from their busy schedules to meet counsellors in person. They can talk on the phone while driving to their jobs.
In-person counselling allows carers to talk to a therapist face-to-face. This allows them to show their emotions in a better way, thus giving the counsellor a chance to provide better advice.
2. Financial Aid Packages
Financial aid packages can provide all the financial assistance a carer might need. These packages cover the basic cost of living, including house rents, monthly groceries, transportation costs, and any medical allowance when needed.
Young carers can apply for financial aid programs to help them cover their educational expenses. Some financial packages may cover the expenses of the carer’s children as well if they have any.
3. Learning Programs
Learning programs and skill courses let the carer provide better services to those in need. These educational courses teach carers about the types of emergencies they can face and how to behave in such situations.
Some programs also teach carers about different mental and physical disabilities. This helps them to provide better services to those who require special care. Without these programs, carers may not be able to help others to their full capacity.
4. Support Groups
Peer support groups can help carers in many ways. Firstly, people with the same issues gather together and discuss their problems. They also share their experiences in different and difficult situations. These discussions can provide carers with many ideas. They can sort out their issues by listening and following others’ experiences.
Secondly, support groups can help carers express their emotions in a better way. When a person knows others are going through the same problem, he or she is most likely to communicate in a better way.
5. Respite Opportunity
Taking a break from monotonous life is everyone’s right. Carers cannot take a break as they need to be available for the person they have been caring for. Fortunately, now the carer gateway program allows carers to enjoy a planned and unplanned respite.
Whether the carer is suffering from an illness, or just wants a day off to spend with friends and family, respite opportunities allow them to do so. They can utilize this time to look after themselves. A break can help a person perform better later on.
Carers need caring too. They have financial, physical, and emotional needs that need to be provided for somehow. Carer Gateway program caters to all their basic needs. However, we shouldn’t just rely on the government. Every citizen has the responsibility to promote good and the people doing good. Carers should also look for a proper source of income while they are helping others. They don’t have to leave all their lives behind just to become a carer.