Carer respite provides peace of mind for John and Shirley

John Langdale is one of Australia’s 2.8 million unpaid carers whose roles are valued at $60.3 billion annually – that’s more than $1 billion per week.

This week, National Carers Week (16 – 22 October) recognises and celebrates carers and aims to raise awareness about their caring roles.

John, who has been caring for his frail aged wife Shirley for the last 12 months, says he has a sense of relief knowing that respite care at home is available when he needs it.

“It gives both of us respite and peace of mind. People forget that the carer needs respite as much as the recipient of care. Suncare has been very supportive so far, and I have had very positive experiences. We could not have managed without this service,” he said.

Suncare CEO Russell Mason said this year’s theme, ‘Carers Count’, was an opportunity for everyone to let carers know how much they count and thank them for their extraordinary contributions.

“Caring for someone who is aged, has a disability or mental health illness can be tough,” Mr Mason said.

“That’s why it’s important for carers to be able to take time out to recharge and know that support services are available for them when they need to be away from their caring role for a short time, or face an emergency.”

Respite is available to people of all ages who act in a caring role for a friend, loved one or family member who is aged or frail, has a disability, or is living with mental illness.

Mr Mason said respite could be delivered in a carer’s own home, respite cottage, day respite centre or other community-based environment.

“Respite activities include domestic assistance, personal care, social support, peer support or group activities, or just having someone there when you can’t be.”

Suncare operates respite cottages - a home away from home- for carers and the people they care for. Current vacancies are available in Yandina, Bribie Island, Hervey Bay, Bundaberg and Rockhampton. For more information, contact Suncare on 1800 786 227.