Caring for a loved one?

Caring for a loved one, I am. See my story here – https://www.carergateway.gov.au/rachels-story

Are you caring for a loved one?

Caregivers are the family members and friends who help their loved ones with a range of tasks from paying bills or driving to doctors, to personal care such as bathing and dressing, to medical care such as administering medication.

“Caregivers often find themselves in this role without preparation or education and all while juggling their own lives,” said United Way Caregivers Coalition Manager Robin Ennis. “Caregivers within our communities should have access to the supports and resources they need to sustain themselves as caregivers.”

Resources help you care for your loved one

Resources help unpaid caregivers who assist loved ones of any age who are ill, frail or living with a disability or mental illness. Access to explore topics that provide family caregivers with valuable information from local experts and connections to local resources is imperative.

Investigate topics to optimise health whilst caring :

Here is the United Way Caregivers Coalition’s “Pathways for Caregivers” – This free guide contains information, ideas and support for providing care for loved ones. There are separate sections on aging, disabilities, and mental health issues. The guide is available online at www.UnitedWayNNJ.org/CaregiverTools. While written to assist caregivers in the New Jersey (USA) region, much of the contents are applicable to caregivers throughout New Jersey and beyond!

In Australia see CarersNSW

Caring for a loved one.

Being aware of existing resources, even if provided elsewhere, can be beneficial as it initiates the thinking the same resources may be available near you.

Last but not least – self care is pivotal to carer health.

Look after yourself so that you can look after others optimally.

Read – Self care to ensure you remain robust physically and mentally.

Read – Self care – Self care can be 5 minutes with a cup of tea or a date with the hairdresser either way we need to spend a moment on ourselves to ensure we are robust and healthy to meet the demands of our varied roles.

Caring for a loved one?
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Carers + Employers – A New Initiative.

CarersNSW has launched a progressive new initiative Carers + Employers. I was asked to sit on the Project Management Group as a carer representative so I’m delighted to announce the Carers + Employers initiative launched on 1st March.

Carers + Employers Initiative

Carers + Employers – A New Initiative.

This new initiative has been developed with both NSW and Commonwealth Government funding aiming to support workplaces to become more carer friendly, as well as developing a network of employers with improved employment outcomes for carers. The number of carers in the community is set to rise as population ages, and Australians live longer and retire later.

Carers + Employers Initiative – Accreditation.

Juggling both paid and unpaid work is very stressful. Many carers struggle to balance these two roles. Carers + Employers initiative is the first program in Australia that formally accredits carer-friendly employers.

The Carers + Employers initiative program has an accreditation framework that recognises employers that are actively supporting paid work for people with caring responsibilities. There are three levels of accreditation.

  1. Activate
  2. Commit
  3. Excel

Employers that join the program will become part of a network that has access to a dedicated website and member resources. Becoming an Accredited Carer Employer contributes to staff wellbeing, workforce management and wider corporate social responsibility.

There are many ways an organisation can better support carers in their workforce. Strategies do not have to be costly or require major organisational changes.

Carers + Employers Initiative – Supporting carers works for everyone.

Here are 10 tips for a carer-friendly workplace

  1. Enable staff with caring responsibilities to identify themselves.
  2. Develop a supportive culture so carers feel comfortable disclosing their caring responsibilities.
  3. Consult your workforce.
  4. Make it easy for carers to find out what support is available, and how it can be accessed.
  5. Promote carers leave entitlements. Explore flexible leave options.
  6. Promote flexible working arrangements. Ensure staff are aware of carers rights to request flexible working arrangements under the Fair Work Act.
  7. Deliver training so that support is consistently offered. Line managers should understand the challenges faced by carers, and the policies available.
  8. Monitor progress and adjust support as necessary.
  9. Explore opportunities such as offering career breaks, promoting carer-specific return to work programs.
  10. Provide practical support such as quiet rooms, a car space, peer support group, online forum or “lunch and learn” education sessions can be useful.

Carers + Employers Initiative – A Business Case

The business case for the Carers + Employers initiative

  • Improved staff retention.
  • Reduced recruitment and training costs.
  • Reduced stress, sick leave and absenteeism.
  • Improved staff moral and engagement.
  • Increased productivity (1).
carers + employers initiative
Carers +Employers Initiative – works for everyone.

Finally If you would like more information about the program please visit the dedicated website: http://www.carersandemployers.org.au/

For organisations wanting more information about the initiative please email: info@carersandemployers.org.au

Further reading regarding carers – Caring is not an isolated activity

(1) Supporting Working Carers: The Benefits to Families, Business and the Economy, Final Report of the Carers in Employment Task and Finish Group, HM Government, Employers for Carers and Carers UK (2013). Evidence was based on research with 200+ employers in the UK.

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Suddenly an Everyday Carer

Highly personal, honest, compelling and readable, Suddenly an Everyday Carer will make you laugh and cry but it’s also a valuable tool and resource full of down-to-earth practical advice and links for anyone living through a trauma.

Suddenly an Everyday Carer

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