Carers are people who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issues or who are frail aged. Caring may include physical and personal care and assistance such as dressing, lifting, showering, feeding or providing transport. Carers provide emotional, social or financial support.
The contribution of carers is an important part of a person’s recovery, rehabilitation and treatment and the caring role is often physically, emotionally and financially demanding.
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) understands and appreciates the role of carers and acknowledges the stress and burden involved in providing day-to-day care to veterans and war widows/ers.
This booklet (currently only available on-line) has been developed specifically to assist carers. It provides information about specific services and supports available through DVA as well as general information about services available in the community. It is available on the carers booklet publication page.
Veterans’ Home Care
Veterans' Home Care (VHC) is designed to help entitled veterans and war widowers continue living at home by providing a small amount of practical help. Services include Domestic Assistance, Personal Care, Respite Care, and safety-related Home and Garden Maintenance.
Respite Care and Carer Support
Respite Care gives carers a break by temporarily relieving them of their caring responsibilities.
Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP)
The Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP) assists entitled veterans, war widow/ers and dependants through the provision of aids and appliances to minimise the impact of disabilities, enhance quality of life and maximise independence when undertaking daily living activities.
Information and services for Serving and ex-serving personnel and families is available on the mental health page.
- The At Ease website is a resource available to help veterans, ADF personnel, and family members identify the symptoms of mental illness. Whether experiencing sadness, depression, distress or anger, this website provides tips, treatment options and resources for veterans and their families.
Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS)
VVCS provides free and confidential, nation-wide counselling and support for war and service-related mental health conditions, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance and anger. A fantastic resource, VVCS provides relationship and family counselling to veterans, their families and those who face the unique challenges of caring for those exposed to the military lifestyle. Visit the VVCS website.
Carer Recognition Act
The Carer Recognition Act 2010 came into effect on 18 November 2010. The aim of the Act is to increase recognition and awareness of the role carers play in providing daily care and support to people with disability, medical conditions, mental illness or who are frail aged.
Carer Awareness Training Package
A self-paced training package for provider staff and management with a focus on carers, their issues and needs, the Carer Recognition Act 2010 (the Act) and compliance with the Act.
This training package is available on the Carer Awareness Training Package page.
Carers Australia is the national peak body representing Australia’s carers, advocating on behalf of Australia’s carers to influence policies and services at a national level. It works collaboratively with partners and its member organisations, the Network of state and territory Carers Associations, to deliver a range of essential national carer services.
Other Government Information
My Aged Care
The My Aged Care website has been established by the Australian Government to help you navigate the aged care system. My Aged Care is part of the Australian Government’s changes to the aged care system which have been designed to give people more choice, more control and easier access to a full range of aged care services. As part of the website there are a range of useful contacts for carers and information that provides a range of organisations and programs around Australia that may be able of help.
Department of Social Services
The Department of Social Services provides support to carers that members of the veteran community may also access.
Payments for Carers
There are payments and services available if you provide daily care to someone with severe disability or a medical condition or someone who is frail aged. These payments are made through Centrelink.
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is the new system of disability support that is being introduced across Australia. The NDIS aims to make sure people with disability have the supports they need to do everyday activities. It also aims to give people with disability and their carers more choice and control over the supports they use. Carers of NDIS participants are most likely to be those who care for someone with a significant and permanent disability who is under the age of 65 years.