Care for carers - 6 tips for staying healthy
WHEN people think of carers, they usually envisage partners caring for loved ones as they age. In fact statistics show that in Australia in 2012 2.8% of carers were aged less than 15 years and a further 2.8% were aged between 15 to 24 years. Many carers are looking after parents, children or siblings with disabilities or long-term health issues as well as caring for the aged.
There is strong evidence to show that carers' health can deteriorate over time. In order to sustain the ability to care for a loved one, it is important for Carers to take care of themselves. 5 tips for staying healthy:
1. Regular Sleep - try to ensure regular sleep patterns
2. Eat well
4. Interact with friends and relatives and join in social activities
5. Regular health check ups with a general practitioner
6. Use available carer support e.g. www.carersupport.org.au
Did you know:
· In 2015 there were over 2.8 million unpaid carers in Australia (2)
· Females make up the majority of carers, representing 69.7% of primary carers (1)
· 27% of primary carers have been caring for 10 to 24 years, a further 7% have been in a caring role for 25 years or more (1)
(1) Australian Bureau of Statistics Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers
(2) Deloitte Access Economics (2015) the Economic Value of Informal Care in Australia
Being a Carer can be a very rewarding however it is important to understand that feelings of frustration, anger, depression, guilt and sadness can also be part of the experience. These feelings are normal and it can be helpful to talk to family members, friends or counsellors to help manage the day to day stressors. Carers need to be reminded to be kind to themselves, they do an amazing job!