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.  Every carer is different.  Some carers provide intense support to a person with high or complex needs, while other carers support people who are fairly independent but need a little help to maintain their independence. 
 
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. 
 
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  aged over 65, or over 50 if they are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
  • 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:

  • Short term or immediate in-home respite care
  • Assistance with accessing out-of-home respite care
  • Information, links to other services, help to navigate the system
  • Help with in home support services
  • Referral to local assessment services for the person you care for
  • Access to the lifeAssist Carer Recognition program 
  • See Positive Ageing page for more details about in-home aged care supports.

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 a severe or profound disability, we can help with:

If you are a carer for a person with mental illness, autism or intellectual disability, we can help with:
  • Short term respite care
  • Information, links to other services, help to navigate the system
  • Peer support and networking opportunities
  • Social connectedness and capacity building
  • Education and workshops to help you in your caring role
For Young Carers, we can provide:
  • Educational supports (tutoring, assistance with books, uniforms, excursions, camps etc)
  • Short term 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.  
  • Disability and Mental Health Carers Support programs offered by lifeAssist are in transition to the NDIS. If the person you care for gains entry into the National Disability Insurance Scheme you will no longer be eligible for these programs. However you may be eligible to seek short term and emergency respite through the Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on 1800 052 222.
Contact us today to talk through what options are available to you, or use our option selector.

lifeAssist is funded to 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 providing emergency and short term support for carers and their families. This program is delivered in Eastern Metropolitan region of Melbourne by lifeAssist. 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. lifeAssist offers the Care Relationships and carer support sub-program of CDRC.  This is designed to assist older people living in the community to maximise their independece while allowing their carer to take a break through access to planned in-home respite care.  Further information is available from the My Aged Care website or by phoning My Aged Care on 1800 200 422.

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

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.

Northern Region of Melbourne:

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

Flexible Options:

We can offer a range of respite options to an older person receiving care which allows carers in Melbourne's Eastern and Northern suburbs the opportunity to take a break from their caring role.
 
We understand that the type of centre-based respite must suit the needs of both the carer and the older person.  To achieve this, we work in conjunction with a number of other agencies to ensure that the respite we offer is right for our clients.  These 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.
  • 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 – centre-based respite 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 Hubs: are a welcoming space giving carers of people with a mental illness, autism, intellectual diability or severe and profound disability.We operate Carer Hubs in Hampton Park, Pakenham and Forest Hill to support carers, help create social connections and link carers with other support services. Through the Hubs 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 illness, an opportunity to share walks in the municipalities of Maroondah, Yarra Ranges, Manningham and Boorondara with other carers and to learn more about news, services, supports available to carers. These are 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.

Helpful information for carers:

  • My Aged Care is the Australian Government's entry point for older Australians, their families and carers.  My Aged Care operates 8:00am to 8:00pm Monday to Friday and 10:00am to 2:00pm Saturdays.  Phone My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 or visit the My Aged Care website for more information
  • 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.