“Everything falls on your shoulders”: connecting unpaid carers with support

Unpaid carers are a vital but often unacknowledged part of healthcare.

That’s why Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) is working with Carers SA to support those who care for others.

“Carers are so busy looking after their loved ones, and they typically don’t access help due to a lack of time and energy, plus uncertainty about where to find knowledge,” said Christine King, CALHN’s Executive Director of Allied Health.


“When carers are accessing healthcare at CALHN – whether it be hospital, outpatient or community services – this is a prime opportunity to ensure they receive Carers SA guidance and information they might not otherwise know about.”

Carers SA is a state-wide organisation that ensures the voices of carers are heard and represented. It is the lead South Australian Carer Gateway provider on behalf of the Australian Government, and also provides State Government-funded services for carers.

“We are thrilled to announce our exciting partnership with CALHN,” said Carers SA CEO, Mr David Militz.


“This collaboration marks a significant milestone aimed at identifying and supporting carers by connecting them to Carers SA and the support services available to them.”


Easing the load

A carer is anyone supporting a family member or friend who is frail due to age, has a long-term health condition, lives with disability, a drug or alcohol related issue, is experiencing mental illness or has an illness that is terminal.

In South Australia there are 245,000 unpaid carers, and almost 2.65 million across the country.

Carers do their best to support their loved ones, but typically don’t realise they can access support to ease the load.

“Often we see situations where patients are admitted to hospital as a result of the support and care structures at home being under considerable strain,” said CALHN’s Christine King.


“Partnering with Carers SA will enable us at CALHN to ensure carers and the individuals they are supporting know there are resources available to support them in the community and that they don’t need to do this alone.”

Information about Carers SA is now provided throughout CALHN sites, such as in printed brochures, on bedside monitors and on TV displays.


Easing the pressure

After many years supporting her husband, Lyn understands the pressures on carers and the feeling of being alone in the role.

“Being a carer can be very draining – it feels like everything falls on your shoulders, especially in a hospital setting when you are the one who has to make the important decisions on behalf of the person you are caring for,” Lyn said.


“I think this partnership is fantastic and will help lots of carers get the support they deserve.”

Carers and consumers were pivotal in helping to shape the information on display and featured throughout CALHN sites as a result of the collaboration with Carers SA.

Image shows Mr David Militz (Carers SA CEO), with carer Lyn (Medal of the Order of Australia recipient) and Associate Professor Christine King (CALHN Executive Director of Allied Health).