It's true that some carers don't identify themselves as such. They just happen to provide assistance to someone who needs additional help. Overwhelmingly this care is provided for a family member.
In 2015 the Australian Bureau of Statistics conducted a survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, and a summary of findings was released recently.
2.7 million Australians provide informal care. Over two-thirds of carers are women.
Caring has a significant (usually positive!) impact on the person who is cared for. It often means they can remain in their own home, participate in and contribute to their community, and enjoy quality of life.
Caring also has a significant impact on government spending. Deloitte Access Economics, recently estimated that carers save government over $1 BILLION every single week. That is to say, if government had to replace the care that informal carers currently undertake unpaid, it would cost $60.3 billion each year.
But caring can have negative impacts on carers. Primary carers have significantly lower workforce participation rates. And subsequently their income is almost half that of their non-caring peers.
Caring is valuable to individuals, to households and to communities. But it comes at a cost. This is why every time you purchase your dinner from Dinner on the Table, we use some of your money to gift dinner to a family living with disability.
We're convinced that having a good dinner, done for you, changes your daily life. And when the challenges are great, and the resources are stretched thin, this might be of even greater benefit.
We all need the support of those closest to us - usually our families, whomever that includes (and however much they might get on our nerves!) At Dinner on the Table, we're committed to the needs of whole households. Together, we can care for the carers and the cared-for.
After all, we all have to eat.