Individual submission – Patricia Chan

I am a carer

Patricia Chan

“Support to Access Employment
Balancing employment whilst caring for someone, or returning to the workforce after a caring role has ended has been identified as a key challenge for carers. To assist those carers who are balancing employment and their caring responsibilities, the Integrated Carer Support Service will help with:
• advice on information on managing their responsibilities; and
• access to the supports under this model such as planning and financial support to help them achieve their goals.”
My Comments on above: As a working carer and from a different cultural background there is little to assist me in my caring capacity.Even organizations set up to assist working carers gave me incorrect information on whom I could contact for long day care for a frail aged person that was in my geographical location and that operated at a time to suit my working hours.When you work full time having a day centre open from 10am -2pm is of no help at all as one can’t turn up late for work each day and leave early.In most cases the resource I was given only operated 1-2 times pw. or was for someone suffering from dementia. I require long day care 5 days pw and at a reasonable cost. I start work @7.30am and finish @4pm. I was also given the names of Nursing Homes none of which provided day care for the frail aged. Wasted hours on wild goose chases.Will not be using that resource again!!
When I contacted MyAgedCare for assistance I was told the person I was caring for needed to give their permission for the referral to proceed. I hung up the phone.

“There is a lack of quality evidence that respite services effectively reduce carer burden and mental and physical health problems (Lawton et al 1989; Eager et al 2007; Shaw et al 2009; Mason et al 2007; Stolz et al 2004; Lee & Cameron 2008 as cited in Urbis Australia, 2013).
In a review (Mason, 2007) to determine the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different models of community-based respite care for frail older people and their carers, no reliable evidence was found that respite care either delays entry to residential care or adversely affects frail older people. For all types of respite, the effects upon carers were generally small with better-controlled studies finding modest benefits only for certain subgroups. However, many studies reported high levels of carer satisfaction.
Barber (2013) points to research that provides evidence indicating the use of respite services can alleviate carer burden, and enable families to continue providing care in the home and avoiding or delaying institutionalisation. Yet the effectiveness is highly dependent on the timing and the type of respite care services being provided, and Barber suggests the respite interventions are most effective if provided early on before the strains of caregiving deplete the carers’ reserves and resources”
My comment on above:If there were more day centres for the frail aged that would be great.
We need more facilities such as Constitution Hill Wellbeing and Respite Day Care Centre @ Northmead (nowhere near where I live) which operates from 7am to 7pm and charges a reasonable fee and is open 5 days pw.
Yes more needs to be done to help unpaid carers.
It depends on where you live whether you can access a service or not.