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The initiative to support Australia’s largest free labour service

A new initiative has been launched for National Carers Week to bring critical support services to the carers who provide $1 billion worth of free care

A new initiative will address the 2.7 million unpaid carers who are providing more than $1 billion of free labour a week with minimal support services.

Embracing Carers™, the global movement working to recognise carers worldwide, will roll out resources to identify Australian carers who do not realise they are fulfilling that role and ultimately connect them to critical support services.

CEO of Carers Australia, Ara Creswell, said: “People living in rural and remote areas face many challenges in accessing the services they need – including carer support services.”

“Carers in outer regional, remote and drought affected areas are particularly vulnerable and have a high need for support services to assist them to cope with their caring role. While support services are available, they may be difficult to access. The fact that these carers may not identify with the team compounds the situation,” Creswell said.

This new movement will connect Australia’s largest unpaid workforce with the needed emotional, financial and practical support to continue supporting others, especially in rural and regional areas, during National Carers Week between October 14 and 20.

To provide Australian carers with support and resources, the International Alliance of Carer Organisations (IACO), with the support of Embracing Carers™, developed the ‘Global State of Care Report’ that identified current legislation to benefit carers, the best practices and opportunities to increase support across Australia.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics defines carers as people who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue or who are frail aged.

Director Market Access and Government Affairs at Merck Biopharma Australia and New Zealand, Paul Lindsay, said: “There are many hidden carers in rural and regional Australia that need help to self-recognise their crucial role.

“We aim to support this not only through the development of a self-recognition questionnaire, but also via a Facebook social media campaign designed to share real-life carer stories to help individuals reflect on their daily lives, let them know they are not alone and encourage them to seek out what support they could access via the Global State of Care Report.”

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