National Carers Week 2020

Three year old Archie is cared for full time by his mum, Fiona.

Archie was born with Sox2 Syndrome, a rare disorder that affects 1 in 250,000 children. He was born without eyes and is completely blind. He also has severe hearing loss, gross motor delay, a rare form of epilepsy and is fed through a tube in his stomach. He sees up to 20 different therapists and medical specialists.

Fiona says Archie has given her a high appreciation of life, and while the days are busy with therapy and appointments, they take each day as it comes.

“He’s the light of my life,” Fiona says. “We are very blessed.”

This week is National Carers Week and is dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating more than 2.6 million carers in Australia.

Making up 12% of our population, carers are 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 drug issue or who are frail aged.

Caring may include help and support in any of the daily activities of the person being cared for including physical and personal care and assistance such as dressing, lifting, showering, feeding or providing transport.

Fiona says she enjoys being a carer but believes it’s important to take time out when possible.

“We’re lucky we have a lot of help. But I have learnt it is important to practice self-care for health and wellbeing,” says Fiona.

Carers were invited to join in a number of free activities by the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (SCHN) in celebration of Carers Week including a workshop on managing stress and preventing carer burnout, meditation with crystal bowls by Christine and live, guided meditation sessions. 

“This year has been challenging for everyone, but especially for our parents and carers. The Carer Support Program would like to thank each and every one of our parents and carers for the amazing jobs that they do, and the love and support they show to their children and our staff. It doesn’t go unnoticed and is very much appreciated,” said Lauren McGrath, Network Manager, Patient and Family Engagement at SCHN.

To access information and advice on the support available to carers across Australia, including resources relating to carer wellbeing, visit carergateway.gov.au.

Please join us in delivering a heartfelt THANK YOU to all our wonderful carers!

National Carers Week is an initiative of Carers Australia, funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services, and coordinated with the assistance and participation of the state and territory Carers Associations.