Jewish Care Victoria Cares for its Carers

October 19, 2016 by Ayal Tusia
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During the National Carers Week Jewish Care Victoria is celebrating the dedicated unpaid carers in our community.

The week of 16 – 22 October provides an opportunity to reflect on major issues that carers face, that are often unaddressed.

Cate Molly, Coordinator of Jewish Care’s Commonwealth Home Support-Respite.

Cate Molly, Coordinator of Jewish Care’s Commonwealth Home Support-Respite.

Social isolation is a key issue for carers, where the demands of caring result in less time for friends and family members. Many carers miss out on social occasions related to work and leisure activities, and caring can diminish the freedom and spontaneity in their life. Additionally, carers often have to process strong emotions such as anger, denial, guilt and grief, which can affect their relationships and cause conflict.

Cate Molly, Coordinator of Jewish Care’s Commonwealth Home Support-Respite (CHSP – formerly known as National Respite for Carers Program) said: “Carers often feel that they lack support from their peers, feel restricted socially and their friendship groups drop off.”

Carers also have to deal with the financial impact of caring for their loved ones. Approximately 50% of primary carers are on a low-income and may find it difficult to pay for living expenses, save money and grow their superannuation. Additional costs of caring can also be sizeable, where carers frequently need funds for extra expenses such as medicines, transport, health care and disability aids.

Jewish Care supports carers through various programs which assist unpaid carers to support the person requiring assistance to continue living at home and in the community. The programs promote Jewish Care’s Active Service Model and philosophy of client-centred care, and aims to give carers a short break from their vital role.

Respite is offered to the care recipient in-home or at the ‘Stepping Out Program’ held at its Active Living Centre on St Kilda Road. Jewish Care aims to allow carers to have a decent ‘break’ of a number of hours, to go to work or complete errands. In 2014-2015, Jewish Care provided approximately 4,000 days of respite to people aged 65 and over in the community, to give full-time carers a break.

“The care we provide is often directed to the care recipient; however the focus of the care is to support the carer,” Cate said.

Support is offered to carers via carers support groups, where carers have the opportunity to share concerns and ideas with other carers, in a supportive group setting.

Additionally, Jewish Care provides support to carers and families through its Family and Carer Support Program, as part of the organisation’s Disability Services. A holistic assessment is undertaken of each family and care recipient (individual living with disability) to determine a personalised support plan, for the family to achieve positive outcomes overall. Assistance is provided to the family through offerings including referrals to relevant support services, including The Coppel & Piekarski Family Disability Respite Centre, events, healthy living activities such as yoga classes, training sessions and counselling services. In 2015-2016, the Family and Carer Support Program provided individualised support to 96 carers of people with disability.

National Carers Week honours the contribution of Australia’s 2.8 million unpaid carers. More than 300,000 of carers in Australia are young carers, with around 150,000 under 18. Carers may care for a parent, partner, sibling, their child, relative or friend; who lives with disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol/drug issue or are frail aged or have dementia.

For more information about Jewish Care’s Aged Care Respite or Family and Carer Support Program, contact our Front Door on 8517 5999, or visit


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