Tuesday, 18 October 2011
Time To Care For Carers
Today is National Carers’ Day, so Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent walks into Parliament thinking of the thousands of South Australians who provide tireless unpaid support to people with disabilities.
“One in every six Australians is a carer,” said Ms Vincent. “Today is a day to celebrate their achievements and commitment, but it’s also a time for the Government to be held accountable for the terrible conditions some of these carers face.”
“Some carers barely sleep while they provide 24 hour care for a loved one, yet this Government can’t even guarantee them adequate respite.
“The result is higher than average levels of mental and physical illness among carers, which only compounds the stress they are already under.”
On this Carers’ Day Ms Vincent is calling on the Government to commit to better supports for these valuable and selfless South Australians.
“Carers need to know they are not alone,” said Ms Vincent. “They need good, reliable support to help them give quality care to their loved one, and they also need regular checks on their own wellbeing to prevent stresses and illness from becoming uncontrollable.”
“The Government needs to acknowledge that these carers save millions of dollars by providing free care; and should be offering a little support in return.”
As well as being National Carers’ Week, this week is Anti-Poverty Week and there is a unmistakable linkage between the two.
“Because carers often get little or no Government support many are forced to forgo employment, leaving some of the state’s most vulnerable families in poverty.
“This week is a time for the Government to reflect on how these two crises interact. I believe that full support of the NDIS would go a long way to solving the care crisis, and would also help get carers and people with disabilities into the workforce.”