George Helon

New member
Jan 2, 2024
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Caring Costs Us! Time to Recognise and Care for Carers

Are you the carer for an aged, infirm, disabled or incapacitated person?

If you are, I'd like to hear of your experiences and views on the recognition and remuneration of carers (or lack there of), not about paid support workers. And if you haven't already, please consider signing, sharing and sponsoring my petition.

By definition, carers, or care givers are persons who regularly look after the needs of an aged, infirm, disabled or incapacitated person on a permanent 24/7, 365 day a year basis in return for a government benefit.

Whereas, paid support workers are usually engaged by a care support organisation, are formally trained, qualified and paid to look after clients on an employed basis with various statutory entitlements, benefits and rights.

Now, as well as being a national carer advocate and the author of the Time to Recognise and Care for Unpaid Carers! petition at Change.org (heading to 24,000 supporters), I am the fulltime 24/7, 365 day a year primary carer of my ailing mother who has Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) and is in declining physical health with severe mobility issues, chronic health conditions and numerous ailments.

I receive a meagre $153.50 fortnightly Carer Allowance.

Among Australia's most disadvantaged and vulnerable, carers are living way below the poverty line.

When introduced in 1999 – that’s 25 years ago mind you – Carer Allowance was set at $75.60 a fortnight, or 25% of the Aged Pension partnered rate of $7841.60 pa.

In 25 years, and irrespective of inflation pressures and the cost of living crises, Carer Allowance has only risen by $77.90; the average increase just $3.12, or 4.13% a year.

With those figures in mind, we carers should be getting a more reasonable $420.70 a fortnight for all we do in saving the government between $77.9 billion to $121.6 billion dollars a year.

According to Carers Australia there are 2.65 million unpaid carers with a majority of them being women, and of them (according to Department of Social Services statistics) only 946,955 receive any sort of financial assistance, with two-thirds of that number receiving only the paltry Carer Allowance of $153.50 a fortnight.

While pensions and the dole continue to rise, caers are being crushed by the spiralling cost of living.

With many health issues, including an extremely rare genetic disorder (Pallister-Hall Syndrome), a brain tumour, spinal tumour, mental health issues, almost profoundly deaf, together with a myriad of other medical problems I am on the Disability Support Pension (DSP).

Like many, every fortnight I find myself having to contribute more and more from my very limited savings, and I have to bite into my DSP for my mother's upkeep and special needs.

Becoming a Carer increases one's financial vulnerability as we sacrifice – among other things – career, income, future income potential and superannuation; and our own health to look after someone we love.

Is that a fair price on love?

As carers we need, and quite rightly deserve the same respect, recognition and comparable financial remuneration and benefits as paid support workers.

We know you care, and now more than ever, we need YOUR SUPPORT.

Please join me in promulgating my Petition to guarantee better respect, recognition and remuneration for Australia's unpaid carers.

Please sign and share because you never know when you might find yourself a carer or in urgent need of one.

https://www.change.org/CarersAustraliaPetition

P.S. There is no obligation to pay anything, just select the I'll share option then close the browser window.

George Helon
Fulltime Carer and National Advocate
 
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George, I hope you are taking advantage of a Home Care Package for you wife
Package levelLevel of care needs
Level 1Basic care needs – $10,271.10 a year
Level 2Low care needs – $18,063.85 a year
Level 3Intermediate care needs – $39,310.50 a year
Level 4High care needs – $59,593.55 a year
That is what you could be entitled to, this would also give you a break, from continual caring.
Also, I hope you know about the CAPS scheme for incontinence issues if needed.
I believe the Carer allowance is only meant to assist with travel to and from appointments.
 
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I am also a full time carer, caring for my wife of 65 years and proud to be able to do it. Apart from the $153.50 per fortnight allowance, we both receive the age pension. My wife also receives a home care package which supplies twice weekly personal care, weekly physio, and incontinence supplies . The rest I handle from our pensions and the allowance. When you marry it's something you sign up for, which so many people seem to have forgotten nowadays. You are in a different category and need proper financial plus physical assistance. Good luck with the petition, ut with the current government don't hold your breath.
 
I am also a full time carer, caring for my wife of 65 years and proud to be able to do it. Apart from the $153.50 per fortnight allowance, we both receive the age pension. My wife also receives a home care package which supplies twice weekly personal care, weekly physio, and incontinence supplies . The rest I handle from our pensions and the allowance. When you marry it's something you sign up for, which so many people seem to have forgotten nowadays. You are in a different category and need proper financial plus physical assistance. Good luck with the petition, ut with the current government don't hold your breath.
Vinylted, I hope you're not paying for incontinence products from the aged care package for your wife. There is a scheme called CAPS that will provide extra funding for these products.
 
Vinylted, I hope you're not paying for incontinence products from the aged care package for your wife. There is a scheme called CAPS that will provide extra funding for these products.
The CAPS scheme was insufficient for her needs, so the package took over the supply. With the CAPS I was having to scout around searching for item on special etc I could never afford the items provided under the package on the allowance provided by the CAP scheme.
 
The CAPS scheme was insufficient for her needs, so the package took over the supply. With the CAPS I was having to scout around searching for item on special etc I could never afford the items provided under the package on the allowance provided by the CAP scheme.
My belief was, having worked in aged care, you could have both. If the money from Caps is paid directly to you, you can spend it when and where you like. Or does one cancel the other out? Anyway, as long as you are aware. Have a nice day.💐
 
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I am also a full time carer, caring for my wife of 65 years and proud to be able to do it. Apart from the $153.50 per fortnight allowance, we both receive the age pension. My wife also receives a home care package which supplies twice weekly personal care, weekly physio, and incontinence supplies . The rest I handle from our pensions and the allowance. When you marry it's something you sign up for, which so many people seem to have forgotten nowadays. You are in a different category and need proper financial plus physical assistance. Good luck with the petition, ut with the current government don't hold your breath.
I am like you but I am a full time carer for my 100 year old mother. From her aged package I get 10 hours respite a week she also has a physio come twice a week. People say why do you not put her in a home. This is something I cannot do as she would not get the same care. This is no fault of the carers only the lack of money supplied.
 
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