Look to the future

Make sure your caring responsibilities are covered in an emergency. If you have to put your life on hold, who can step into your shoes? It’s important to plan ahead.

When you care for someone who depends on you, putting your life on hold to deal with an unexpected event, such as a family illness or accident, may not be an option. Make sure your caring responsibilities are covered in an emergency. If you have to temporarily step back from your caring role, who can step into your shoes? It’s important to plan ahead.

Who could take over your caring role?

Making an emergency plan gives you and the person you care for the reassurance that there will be somebody to step in when they are needed and that they will have instructions to guide them.

The Australian Government publishes a sample ‘Emergency Care Plan‘ as part of the Carer Information Pack. Contact Us to find out more.

Your Emergency Care Plan lists contact details of the people who have agreed to give emergency support to the person you care for. It also includes instructions on the type of care they may need to provide.

To begin with, have a think about the best people to stand in for your caring responsibilities and ask them if they are prepared to act as emergency contacts. It is important that they understand the level of commitment they are taking on and that they fully accept, and are comfortable with, the types of tasks they might need to perform.

Your full plan should include health information about the person you care for, their medications, the care they need, and a list of regular support services used. Give a copy of your plan to each of your emergency contacts and keep the original in a safe but visible place.

Need a break?

It’s okay to take a break from the demanding role of a carer. We can help you to explore options and plan flexible respite that best meets both your needs and the needs of the person you care for.

If you are organising respite privately, remember to communicate your requirements and expectations clearly and openly, but also be prepared to listen to and accept what the provider can or can’t offer. We can give you information on how to best plan for any situation.

Power of Attorney & Guardianship

As a carer you may have to make legal, medical, financial or lifestyle decisions on behalf of the person you care for. Forward planning can make life easier for you, the person you care for, and the rest of your family.

The Advanced Care Directive is a legal form that enables people to make their future wishes and preferences known.

If you are strugging with a service provider – standing up for yourself

Sometimes, you might not get the standard of service you expect and deserve from a provider for your loved one or friend. Talking to the parties involved is the best place to start, but if that doesn’t work, you might need to escalate the issue.

How to resolve issues

Carers often feel that the service system is a maze, that professionals work against them and that they have to battle for every tiny gain. It’s a lot easier to organise the services and supports that you need, and to make sure that they work for you, if you approach people informed and prepared to negotiate. For help on negotiating successfully, contact our advice team on 1800 422 737.

How to make a complaint

When negotiations fail, you have the right to make a complaint. You may feel uncomfortable about making a fuss and worry that it will make things difficult with a service you depend on. You may even feel that you will not be able to use the service any more.

Remember that complaints help professionals and organisations make sure that their services are working for the people they help. Legally, a service cannot hold it against you if you complain.

If you have tried complaining to a person or organisation and do not feel that you have received a suitable response there are a number of organisations who can help you to follow up your concerns. Contact our advice team for more information. If you need advice on negotiating or making a complaint, our friendly, knowledgeable team are on hand to help.