Five Reasons Carers Don’t Ask for Help

We know that carers cope best when they have help and support. Many people don’t see themselves as carers. They are just parents, partners, relatives or friends who care for someone close to them. You may be a carer if you are looking after someone with disability, a medical condition, mental illness or who is frail due to age.

In Australia, there are many services and supports ready to help you and the person you care for. But we also know that many carers don’t ask for help. In talking to carers, we have found some common themes about why they don’t ask for help.

The 5 most common reasons that
carers don’t ask for help are:

1. No time

Carers can find it very hard to find time to learn about services that might help them. Although things have become easier because information is now available online, it still takes time to search for what you need.

2. Not knowing there is help

Many carers simply don’t know what help is out there, or they only know one small part of the puzzle. There are hundreds of services, programs and schemes available to help carers, which are run by government, private and community organisations.

3. Thinking they are not a carer

Many carers don’t think of themselves as a carer, instead just as a person looking after someone close to them. We think these hidden carers are often in the most need of support, because they don’t know they should even be looking for help.

4. Pride

When someone needs care, it can sometimes be hard to ask for help. Many people don’t like to admit they need support. Sometimes, it is the person being cared for who doesn’t want to ask for help, because they don’t want to seem weak or needy.

5. Privacy

Some people don’t like to share their personal affairs with other people. This can be especially true in regional or remote areas, where private information may spread easily.

If this sounds like you, or someone you know, it’s important to realise that support may only be a phone call away. Taking the time to find out more can make your life much easier.

You can access Carer Gateway services in several ways, including by phone and online.

By calling 1800 422 737 Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm and selecting option 1, you can speak with your local Carer Gateway service provider. This helps our staff learn more about you and your caring role so they can match services to your individual needs. Think about what would help you in your caring role and explore the website to find out what help is available.

It is always okay to ask for help.

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