Carer Wellbeing

When you are caring for others, it is also important to take care of yourself.

Who is a Carer?  A Carer is someone who provides care to another person without being paid. 

A Carer can be any age, from any background. A carer can be a child at school whose parent, grandparent or sibling needs help, a parent with a special needs child, an adult whose parent or spouse is ageing and unable to manage at home. A carer can also be anyone who helps another manage with a disability or mental illness.
Many carers do not regard themselves as carers - they are just looking after someone they love. For many the needs of the person they care for grow slowly over time, while for others becoming a carer can happen overnight. Whether touched by disability, ageing, illness or dependency, whether by choice or necessity, over 2.7million Australians are Carers.
Our services are designed to give you the time you need for your own wellbeing, along with the support you need in your role as a carer.

Who can we help? We offer support for:

  • Carers of people who are ageing: these are people who provide unpaid care to someone to a person who is frail aged or has dementia.
  • Carers of people with disability: these are people who provide unpaid care to a person who needs support because they are living with a severe or profound disability, autism, or an intellectual disability.
  • Carers of people with a mental illness: these are people who provide unpaid care to a person who needs support because they are living with a mental illness.
  • Young Carers: a young carer is someone completing primary or secondary education while caring for a family member or friend who has a disability, mental illness, chronic illness, is frail aged or has an alcohol or other substance dependence.

We can provide a range of different supports depending who you provide care for.

If you are a carer for an older person, we can help with:

When is it time to think about supports, and how much will they cost?

If you care for an older person, these are two of the most common questions. For many people, it's the little things which gradually start to become difficult. At what point is it time to start considering options for in-home support services?

lifeAssist has developed a simple online assessment which can help you to answer that question either for yourself or a friend or family member. There is even a cost calculator that will provide a guide to the likely cost of a government-subsidised home care package and the comparable cost of self-funding your own care services.

Read more and take our free online assessment 

If you are a carer for a person with disability, we can help with:

  • Short term or emergency respite care
  • Preparing you (and the person for whom you care) for transitioning to the NDIS
  • Information, links to other services, help to navigate the system
  • Help with homecare and/or personal care
  • Capacity building
  • Peer support and networking opportunities
  • Equipment purchases
  • See our Disability Solutions page for further information about the NDIS
If you are a carer for a person with mental health problems, we can help with:
  • Short term or emergency respite care
  • Information, links to other services, help to navigate the system
  • Help with homecare and/or personal care
  • Peer support and networking opportunities
  • Social connectedness and Capacity building
For Young Carers, we can provide:
  • Educational supports (tutoring, assistance with books, uniforms, excursions, camps etc)
  • Respite care
  • Peer supports (social, recreational, educational)
  • Information, links and referrals to other services
  • Capacity building

Please note: Eligibility criteria applies to accessing some Government funded programs.

Contact us today to talk through what options are available to you, or use our option selector.

lifeAssist can provide supports to carers in the following locations:

Eastern Region of Melbourne:

  • All of the above services, plus:
  • The Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre (CRCC) is funded by the Australian Government to deliver 24 hour, 7 day a week service for carers and their families. This program is delivered in Eastern Metropolitan region of Melbourne by UnitingCare lifeAssist – Eastern Metropolitan Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre. Read more here.
  • The Consumer Directed Respite for Carers Program (CDRC)  is funded by the Australian Government and is delivered through the Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre.  CDRC services are designed to support and assist carers who are caring for a family member or friend in the community who is unable to care for themselves.  It allows a carer to take a break from their caring role.  CDRC gives the carer greater choice about the types of services accessed and how these are delivered.  

Southern Region of Melbourne:

  • Supports for carers of people with mental health problems only through the Mental Health Respite for Carers program are available through our office in Narre Warren.
  • 55 Webb Street Narre Warren. Phone (03) 9705 3932 (9am-5pm Monday to Thursday)

Northern Region of Melbourne:

  • Carer supports available under the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) including Care Relationship Carer Support (CRCS).

Flexible Options:

Under the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP), we can offer a wide range of services to provide carers in Melbourne's Eastern and Northern suburbs with the opportunity to take a break from caring for an older person.
We understand that the type of respite must suit the needs of both the carer and the older person so we work in conjunction with a number of other agencies to provide additional program options to ensure that the respite we offer is right for our clients.  Those other programs include:
  • Grevillea House MannaCare in Doncaster – Centre-based respite providing flexible respite for older people who have a carer. Respite services which focus on ability, not disability, promoting independence through meaningful goal-directed activities plus allied health and therapy services.
  • Wesley Mission Victoria – volunteer visitors spend time with the older person in their own home to provide company and support to do the things they enjoy, including outings.  In turn, this provides the carer with the opportunity to take a break from their caring role.
  • Australian Multicultural Community Services – provide flexible centre-based respite for older people from Polish and Eastern European backgrounds in their Wantirna and Pascoe Vale centres while their carers have a break.  Whilst at the centre, activities can include singing, craft, playing games and more.
  • EACH Social and Community Health in Healesville – providing a friendly place for older people to gather and make new friends while enjoying a variety of activities and excursions designed to enhance wellbeing. In turn, this provides families and carers with respite.

We also run a range of other programs and services which support carers. These include:

  • The Carer Hub: is a welcoming space giving carers of people with a mental health issue in the Southern region of Melbourne the opportunity to connect with other carers. The Carer Hub supports carers, helps create social connections and links carers with other support services. Through the Hub we run also regular activities and education sessions.

  • Carer Recognition Book: this book provides carers savings and vouchers on a range of services, products, accommodation, dining and leisure activities to help carers plan a break at a reduced cost. It is free to join.

  • Pathways for Carers: offers carers of people with a disability or a mental health issue, an opportunity to share walks in Maroondah and Yarra Ranges with other carers and to learn more about news, services, supports available to carers. This is a FREE event for carers. 

  • Health and fitness programs: a time for carers to exercise, feel good, chat, connect and relax. Create some time for yourself to enjoy this weekly fitness session, followed by healthy refreshments. Contact us for more details.

  • NDIS Transition:  If the person to whom you provide care is elegible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, we can help you prepare for that transition. This includes providing information about the NDIS, assistance with the application and planning processes, assistance to gather documents that will support the person’s engagement with the NDIS (e.g. confirmation of diagnosis, information about treatment, the impact of the condition on everyday life, carer statements, carer support plans and more), guidance through the NDIS pathway, including accompanying (with care recipient consent) to meetings with the NDIS if requested.

Helpful information for carers:

  • The Carer Gateway, launched by the Australian Government, provides information about services and support available to people who care for someone with a disability, chronic illness, dementia, mental illness or frailty due to age. Carers can call Carer Gateway on 1800 422 737 (8am-6pm Monday to Friday) or visit the Carer Gateway website to find out more.