The Department of Communities has launched the first WA Carers Strategy. Developed in partnership with the Carers Advisory Council and Carers WA, the strategy guides the Western Australian community on how to better recognise and support carers.
An estimated 320,000 West Australians provide unpaid personal care, support and assistance to another person, or people, needing assistance with daily life. This may be due to disability, impairment, mental illness, chronic condition or terminal illness, an alcohol or drug issue, or being frail aged.
Carers assist the people they care for to live with dignity, maintain their independence and continue to live with family and friends for as long as possible. The care they provide reduces the demand for and dependence on paid care and the health and community services sector.
The challenges faced by carers are heightened by a lack of recognition, awareness and support.
The WA Carers Strategy was informed by research and stakeholder consultation. It outlines areas of priority, as identified by carers themselves and the organisations that support them, with strategies and actions for the community to follow.
It will assist State Government, private, not-for-profit and non-government agencies working with carers and the people they care for to implement best practice in engaging with and involving carers.
It will also ensure carers receive the support they need to perform their range of care responsibilities while having access to the same life choices and opportunities as other members of the community.