What is a carer?
A carer is typically a family member or friend who provides unpaid care for people living with a chronic condition, disability or mental illness, or someone who is frail aged. This could be for as little as a few hours a week, or as often as every day.
Often an unpaid family member or friend takes on the role of carer because they feel obliged to, because no one else can or because it suits everyone involved at the time.
Paid care workers are not defined as carers.
Caring for someone with vision loss can be very rewarding but sometimes can be physically and emotionally draining. Many carers put their own needs last. It’s important to keep yourself healthy, prioritise your own wellbeing, and understand what support is available to help you in your caring role and know that you are not alone.
MDFA is here to explain the clinical and other impacts of macular conditions, how the eye health sector works, Medicare rebates and other practical resources to help you in your caring role.
What do carers do?
If you care for someone with vision loss, you may help and support them with daily activities and tasks such as cooking, cleaning, driving, shopping and reading mail. You may also assist with taking them to medical appointments, accessing community services, maintaining hobbies and leisure activities, and guiding them in the home or community.
Other tasks you might help with include using the telephone, computer, or low vision aids and technologies.
You might like…
For Jean Kittson, one of Australia’s most loved performers, the familial risks associated with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – Australia’s leading cause of blindness and severe vision loss – are startlingly real. Jean’s parents have both been blinded by macular disease.
In MDFA’s ‘See My World’ podcast, hosted by former Patron Ita Buttrose, Jean gives a heartbreakingly raw account of the impact of vision loss on her parents and the hardship – and joys – of caring for them.