To paint an authentic picture of caring in Australia and highlight the incredible work that unpaid carers do is the focus of National Carers Week 2020.
With the theme ‘Why We Care’, National Carers Week will run from 11- 17 October, and aims to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face, and recognise the vital contribution they make to families and communities throughout Australia.
The national campaign encourages carers to visit the Carers Week’s website and share their caring story with the community, and non-carers and organisations to publicly acknowledge and celebrate unpaid carers.
Jim Toohey, Chair of Carers Queensland said National Carers Week may look a little different this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the week is a chance to recognise, celebrate and thank Australia’s 2.65 million unpaid carers for the incredible work they do.
“One in eight Australians provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends*, and this year has been a tough one for many members of our community,” Mr. Toohey said.
“Many carers were required to take more caring responsibilities for their loved ones They contributed so much to flattening the Covid-19 curve and keeping some of our most vulnerable people safe during this most difficult time,” he said.
“In Queensland, there are 533,200 carers and a significant number of them are still struggling with their mental wellbeing as a result of the pandemic.”
“Carers Queensland conducted 1,280 carers wellbeing checks between March and May this year, and data showed that 38% of them experienced a decrease in service delivery, while 39% identified a decline in their mental health during this challenging time,” he added.
It is estimated that carers will provide 2.2 billion hours of unpaid care in 2020. The replacement cost of that care, if it were to be provided by a paid workforce is estimated to be almost $78 billion, or just under $1.5 billion per week. **
“Many people don’t identify themselves as carers even though they have caring responsibilities,” Mr. Toohey said.
“We all have a part to play in making sure that carers are recognised, celebrated, and most importantly, that they get the support they need,” he added.
As part of the National Carers Week celebrations, Carers Queensland is hosting a range of online and face to face events for the broader community to get involved and say why they care.
For more information on National Carers Week events contact Carers Queensland on (07) 3900 8100 or visit our events page here
To show your support and Tell Us Why You Care visit the National Carers Week website here
Carers Queensland gratefully appreciates the support from Transurban, funding support from the Queensland Government to assist with activities during National Carers Week 2020, and our Carer Friendly Business Award sponsors con-sol, Mable, and PainPod.
*Australian Bureau of Statistics (2018) Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers
**Deloitte Access Economics (2020) The Economic Value of Informal Care in Australia 2020