More than one in eight Australians is estimated to be providing informal care. Government recognises that carers do a lot of work to help others to live at home.
In June 1997, state and federal governments dedicated funds to establish services for carers. They recognised the significant role and contribution of carers in supporting people who are older and becoming frail or have a disability, to remain living in the community.
Our service was established following the successful tender by Alfred Health for Commonwealth Carer Services, and the consortium of aged and packaged care agencies in Victoria's southern metropolitan region for Victorian State services.
We are now known as Alfred Health Carer Services and have grown to support not only aged carers but also people who look after someone with a disability, who are living with dementia or memory loss or who have a mental illness. There are now supports for young carers too.
In 2015, the replacement value of the care provided for people who are aged, chronically ill or have a disability was estimated to be over 60 billion dollars a year.
Our catchment represents around a quarter of the state's population. Staff work closely with their clients, service providers and the local community from offices located in Caulfield, Frankston and Dandenong.
We are active in trialling innovative support models and carer respite activities that value the self-determination, empowerment and contribution of carers; and impart respect, confidence and support to the role of carers.
Programs and services are currently funded by the Federal Government Department of Social Services and the State and Federal Departments of Health and Human Services.