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Getting Help

As carers we look after or help look after someone close to us who has an illness or disability. Though this is fantastic, sometimes we're caring so much for others we forget to care for ourselves. It's important, then, to lean on others every once in a while: to have a break and to recharge the batteries.

In this section you can find information about people who can support you with your caring.

What types of people can help me care for my relative?

There are heaps of services around the place that are there to help care for people with illnesses and disabilities. One way of finding them is to call your local Carers Association on
1800 242 636. They can let you know what supports are available in your local area and how to access them.

If you live in the ACT we've included a list of services which can also help you out or work with you in finding someone who can.
Click here for the list.


Who can support me?

It's really important to have someone to support you too - someone who will listen, someone who will say "your doing a good job", someone to watch out for you and keep you safe. In your life there are probably people around you already who can be that support - its just a matter of asking. Maybe it could be one of these people:

Family & Friends of the Family

The people who know you and can support you best are often your family. If there are a few of you who are caring at home, then chances are they know what you're going through and can be a great support. You can lean on each other sometimes and share the load when times are tough or you need some space. Don't be afraid of asking - chances are other family members would jump at the chance.

If you find it hard to talk to your close family members then maybe try someone who's a bit removed - maybe a grandparent or aunt or cousin. Or maybe your friend's mum or dad or big brother or sister.

These people probably know your family pretty well and they're probably able to give you some good advice or help out in an emergency. Its always good to have a sounding board.

Your own friends

It's good to have friends you can trust - friends that you can talk to and bounce ideas off. Sometimes it's hard to find someone that you think won't pay you out or not understand what you're going through but when you do find someone like that it's great. Be careful, but trust that your close friends will most likely be really supportive. Test the waters a little bit first if you like.

At school

If you're having problems at school because you're caring then tell a teacher you trust. They can often help you get through the work, take off a bit of the pressure or fix up any other types of problems you're having. This teacher can also be there as a support if you need to get extensions or to sort out other things with different teachers - they're on your side and can help you through. This teacher might be your home teacher, your year co-ordinator, your deputy or even principal.

Also, most schools have a school counsellor who can do the same types of things. On top of supporting you, they're usually really good listeners who are there if you want to talk things through. Suss them out a bit if you're not sure - but make sure you find someone.

Youth workers

Youth workers are people trained to work with young people - so often they're great people to get help from. Usually you can find them hanging out at youth centres and schools or out and about. Youth workers are there to support you in lots of different ways - to listen, to help find information and services, to give you advice.

Social workers

Social workers are like youth workers except that they usually work with the whole family. They can help you get extra support for your relative, they can help your family talk together, they can be a voice for you when you don't feel confident to say the things you need to. Social workers can be found at community centres or through your school counsellor.

Doctors & Nurses

Your GP (family doctor) is there to talk to if you are worried about your or your relative's health. They can often give you really good information and advice on how to look after yourself and those you're looking after.

There are also nurses around the place who can visit sick, ill and people with disabilities in their home. They help with medications, injections and other kinds of medical care. They can also help by showing you the best ways of caring for your relative and yourself. Ring the local hospital or community nursing program for more information.

Young Carer Workers

Some areas of Australia are lucky enough to have workers who are there just for young carers and their families. These workers can help out one-on-one, in groups, at home or at school. They're a great resource if you can find them. Ring your local Carers Association to find out if there's one in your area on 1800 242 636.

Click here for info about CYCLOPSACT and other young carer workers in the ACT.

Support Groups

Its also good to get support from other young carers - after all they are going through a lot of the same stuff as you are and have some great advice. Check out to see if there is a support group run near you or see if you can find some you already know.

Click here for info about support groups running in the ACT.

Most of the people we've mentioned will keep what you tell them confidential. This means that they won't tell anyone else things you've told them except when they are worried about your safety. Check with them first, if you like, before you tell them things if you don't want it shared.


PO Box 147, Kippax ACT 2615   |    Phone: 02 6278 8444   |    email: [email protected]

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