Caring for family carers in general practice

Julie M Nankervis, Peter J Waxman, Denise A O'Hara and Mary Burbidge
Med J Aust 2002; 177 (8): .
Published online: 21 October 2002

A more proactive approach by GPs would help to ease the burden on family carers

In Australia, up to 2.3 million people are involved in informal care of children, adults and older persons with disabling chronic and terminal conditions.1 Their role includes managing medications, therapies and medical emergencies; providing supervision and emotional support; and assisting with personal care, mobility and household tasks.1-3 While caring can provide considerable satisfaction and strengthen relationships, carers often feel exhausted, isolated and burdened by their responsibilities.1,3,4 In a recent survey of carers, 58% reported their physical health had been adversely affected, a third said they had sustained a physical injury, and over half reported depression, anxiety, high levels of stress and other impacts on their mental health.2

  • Julie M Nankervis1
  • Peter J Waxman2
  • Denise A O'Hara3
  • Mary Burbidge4

  • 1 Carer Representation Stream, Carers Victoria, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Primary and Community Health Branch, Department of Human Services Victoria, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 3 Williamstown General Practice Group, Williamstown, VIC.



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