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ME/CFS AUSTRALIA (SA) INC

Registered Charity 3104

Email:
sacfs@sacfs.asn.au

Mailing address:
PO Box 322,
Modbury North,
South Australia 5092

Office:
Suite 506,
North Terrace House,
19 North Terrace,
Hackney, SA, 5069


Phone:
1300 128 339

Office Hours:
Wednesdays, 11am-3pm

ME/CFS Australia (SA) Inc supports the needs of sufferers of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and related illnesses. We do this by providing services and information to members.

Disclaimer

ME/CFS Australia (SA) Inc aims to keep members informed of various research projects, diets, medications, therapies, news items, etc. All communication, both verbal and written, is merely to disseminate information and not to make recommendations or directives.

Unless otherwise stated, the views expressed on this Web site are not necessarily the official views of the Society or its Committee and are not simply an endorsement of products or services.

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Being a Carer
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This article originally appeared in the March 1999 issue of Talking Point.


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Being a Carer

By Viv Horwood

What does being a carer mean? Does it mean me?

One important point which has come to light from our Society’s information gathering questionnaire is that a large proportion of our members are not quite sure what is meant by the term ‘carer.’

Some members answered that they didn’t have a carer, only a family member to look after them. Well, this is just what we mean by ‘carer’ (as does the government).

A carer is someone (usually a close family member) who cares for you. Caring covers many facets – it is physical care and emotional care or loving. Your carer is the person who perhaps helps you physically to look after yourself (bathing, dressing, personal grooming) or who help you with household tasks such as cooking a meal, shopping or laundry.

If the ill person is a child, then it is usually the mother who is the prime caregiver and the role of caring is extended enormously. The mother has the usual role of care of a child and additional physical care (exercise or physio programs; greater attention to diet or medication etc) as well as worrying about education needs; socialising and maintenance of peer contact for the very sick, isolated child. The mother of a sick child or adolescent is a carer indeed! YOU are a carer if you care for a close family member or friend and do things for them that you would normally only do for yourself and that this level of care or support enables them to remain in their own home.

Depending on the level of care required by a sick person or child, you, as the caregiver, may be entitled to financial or other help from the government. (Many of these considerations have been covered in previous issues of Talking Point).

If you believe that you are providing full-time or part-time care for a family member or another person then you should contact Centerlink (Phone: 13 23 00) for advice on your situation and entitlements to government financial help and other community support (such as domiciliary care services etc). There is also the Carer Resource Centre (Phone: 1800 242 636) which is a wonderful first step in accessing relevant information.

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