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Today as part of National Carers Week 2019 (13-19 October), Dementia Australia recognises the outstanding role that carers play in communities across the nation.
The theme of this years’ National Carers Week is ‘Why we care’ and aims to raise awareness of the diversity of carers and their caring roles by sharing their stories.
Dementia Australia is using this annual week to share stories of carers who care for people living with dementia, recognising the valuable and often overlooked work carers do across Australia.
Shane LeBrun, who cares for his mum who lives with dementia, said hearing from others and being able to share his story makes a big difference to him feeling like he is part of the community. This is especially important as many carers experience social isolation and find it harder to maintain employment, enter or re-enter the workforce, or participate in education.
“Since becoming a carer I have met many wonderful people who are involved with caring for people living with dementia, and it gives me a great sense of community knowing there are others having the same issues and challenges,” Mr LeBrun said.
“Sharing of our stories and the ways we overcome issues brings us together and gives support.
“Although being a carer can be challenging, it is also rewarding to look after my mum at the most difficult stage of her life and give back to her for all the things she has done for me over my life.
“There is also the financial aspect. I am still at working age, however as a full-time carer I am not able to work, as mum’s needs vary from day to day. As I survive on a carers pension this means I am not earning any superannuation so this will have an impact when I retire. However, it is more important to me to give Mum the best possible care that I can, while I can.”
Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said the role of a carer is often overlooked but their contribution is enormous.
“Today there are an estimated 447,000 Australians living with dementia and almost 1.5 million people involved in the care of someone living with dementia,” Ms McCabe said.
“This week is a great opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the extraordinary work carers do, especially those who look after people living with dementia.
“For all the paid and unpaid carers across Australia, we honour you and we thank you.”
The National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 is often the first point of contact for carers of people living with dementia. This free service is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.
Dementia Australia is the national peak body and charity for people, of all ages, living with all forms of dementia, their families and carers. It provides advocacy, support services, education and information. An estimated 447,000 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach almost 1.1 million by 2058. Dementia Australia is the new voice of Alzheimer’s Australia. Dementia Australia’s services are supported by the Australian Government.
National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500
Interpreter service available
(The National Dementia Helpline is an Australian Government Initiative)
Dementia is a National Health Priority Area www.dementia.org.au
Media contacts: Peta Leveritt-Baker, Manager Media and Communications, 0435 532 214, [email protected]
When talking or writing about dementia please refer to Dementia-Friendly Language Guidelines.
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