Caring for an older family member or friend

Looking after our friends and family is instinctive for most of us. But there will be times in our lives where caring may play an even more significant role.

By using the phrase ‘carer’ we mean someone who provides care for someone close to them (family or friend) who needs help with everyday living because they are disabled or have a health condition or injury. It’s not only individuals, as often whānau, aiga and family adopt a collective caring role.

It can be hugely rewarding, but also challenging. At these times it is especially important to look after yourself. There are a number of resources available to provide guidance, tips and information to help support you.

These include:

A Guide for Carers’ which includes information on the government-funded services and supports available for family carers, such as:

  • financial help
  • transport and travel
  • assessing needs
  • help at home

Carers NZ is a wellbeing and learning website for family carers and friends. It's a place for carers to unwind, discover who's out there to help, be entertained, and shown how to safely carry out common caring tasks.

Resources on that may be useful for carers of older people:

Time Out – includes information for carers on planning and self-managing their breaks, and respite options available to carers.

Meet-ups toolkit – for carers who prefer to receive learning and support together as a whānau, aiga or family, or as members of a local community, rural or cultural support group. The toolkit encourages carers to hold face-to-face workshops in their communities and networks.

Supporting people to move at home is an ACC resource providing practical tips and techniques for carers and support workers.