More than two and a half million Australians care for a loved one, friend or neighbour but many are unaware of the support services available – and the Australian Government is keen to help.

The Hon Jane Prentice MP, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services, is encouraging carers to connect with local services through the national online and telephone service—Carer Gateway.

“Research shows nearly 80 per cent of carers do not see themselves as a carer and may not be aware of the support and services available to them.

“Anyone looking after a person with a disability, chronic illness, dementia, mental illness or frailty due to age may be entitled to government assistance and support services.

“For example, if you are assisting a severely ill relative, you may be eligible for respite support or you may wish to connect with a support service to help you manage your caring role,” Mrs Prentice said.

Mrs Prentice is urging these ‘hidden’ carers to take the first step by accessing Carer Gateway, an Australian Government initiative, which provides easy access to trusted information and advice for unpaid carers.

“Carer Gateway helps to link hard-working, time-poor carers to useful information through a single entry website and phone number.”

Carer Gateway is available online at www.carergateway.gov.au or by calling the phone line on 1800 422 737 between 8am-6pm on weekdays.

Another popular entry point is through the Carer Gateway community Facebook page(link is external).

Attribution: Jane Prentice MP Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services