As part of Carers Week, Uniting Vic.Tas is celebrating the invaluable contributions carers make to the lives of millions of people across Victoria and Tasmania.
Whether it’s providing a home for vulnerable children, supporting people with a disability, or taking an elderly neighbour to their medical appointments, carers come in many different forms.
Some carers look after another person 24 hours a day, while other carers help with specific tasks, such as housework, transport or shopping.
Uniting Vic.Tas is one of the providers of Carer Gateway, a national program funded by the Australian Government, which offers a diverse range of support services for unpaid carers and improve their own wellbeing.
A partnership with Merri Health, our Carer Gateway program operates across Melbourne’s east, Gippsland, the Goulburn North East and Albury/Wodonga regions with services provided in- person, online or over-the-phone.
Catherine is a carer for her two sons. Her eldest son was diagnosed with autism when he was two and her other son, has developmental delays.
“I didn’t really recognise the impact (being a full-time carer) would have on my life,” Catherine said.
“When the autism diagnosis was made, I suddenly realised – ‘this is it, this is for life’ – so that’s when I called up Carer Gateway and it’s when things really changed, and I got the support I needed.
“Nobody really grows up thinking I want to be a carer. That’s not how we expect life to go. But life takes these twists and turns that we never expected or imagined.
“There’s a beauty in it (being a carer). The joy we have in our children meeting milestones – there’s so many things to smile about and we know there’s so much support for us.”
Uniting Vic.Tas Carer Services Manager Julia Fitzsimons said Carers Week, which continues until Sunday, is a time to come together and recognise all carers.
“It’s an important time to celebrate carers and recognise the ‘hidden carers’ in our community and make sure they have the support they need,” Ms Fitzsimons said.
Carer Gateway is available for unpaid carers who support people with a disability, chronic medical condition, mental illness or ageing related condition, such as dementia or mobility issues.
For more information on support for carers, visit Carer Gateway.
For over 100 years, Uniting has delivered community services across Victoria and Tasmania, supporting people at every stage of their lives. We empower children, young people and families to learn and thrive. We’re there for people experiencing homelessness, family violence, drug and alcohol addiction or mental health issues.
We provide people with opportunities to access training and meaningful employment and are proud to welcome and support asylum seekers into our community.
Find out more about our carer services’.