Carers

Information and support for unpaid Western Australian carers.

A carer is anyone providing regular, ongoing care and support to a family member or friend with a disability, impairment, mental illness, chronic health condition, terminal illness, alcohol or drug issue or who is frail aged.

Carers do not receive a salary or wage for the care they provide.

Carers can be any age – ranging from a young carer who may undertake significant care responsibilities for a sibling or parent, to an older person caring for their spouse of partner, or adult son or daughter.  Carers may have multiple care responsibilities, for example supporting a child or spouse with disability, and an ageing parent with declining health.

The impact of a long-term caring role is significant, with many carers carrying out their caring role single-handedly. Carers report the stress and uncertainty associated with the ongoing care of a loved one, as a trigger for the breakdown of marriages, relationships and/or the decline in their own health and wellbeing.

Carers also report widespread emotional, social and financial implications due to isolation, lack of opportunity to socialise, undertake further study or work in paid employment.

The caring role is one of the most significant forms of unpaid work in the community and is integral to Western Australia's aged, disability, health, mental health, and palliative care systems. Family members and friends provide the bulk of this care, which for a carer can be equal to the demands of a full-time job, with many carers providing more than 40 hours of care each week.

The Department of Communities supports Western Australian carers by:

  • providing executive support to the Carers Advisory Council
  • advising the Minister on emerging issues and trends for carers
  • contributing to inter-agency work relevant to carers
  • funding ongoing and short-term activities to support carers (e.g. via Carers WA)
  • administering the Carers Recognition Act 2004.

To hear stories about dads who are carers visit the D-Dad’s Facebook page.

Page reviewed 10 January 2022