This week is National Carers Week in Australia. It's a full moon, I'm feeling punchy, and I thought these were some fun facts worth sharing:
-There are over 2.8 million Carers in Australia.
-They provide 36 million hours of UNPAID care and support every week.
-The value of that unpaid care is $1.1 billion per WEEK.
-The maximum Carer payment of $797.90 per fortnight works out at just under $2.40/hr for a 24/7 job.
So please, share your memes about people bludging off your tax dollar. "I didn't mean you.". Perhaps not, but you meant thousands of people just like me.
"Like" posts saying we should all have a cashless welfare card because we have no right to manage "taxpayer" money.
Ignore our pleas for meaningful supports when you deliver an NDIS plan. Slam those who dare appeal or complain for being "greedy and ungrateful" or for "rorting the system".
Boast that children with disabilities access mainstream schools, then consider 15-20 minutes a few times a week adequate support.
Force families to prove over and over again that their severely disabled adult son or daughter isn't capable of working. Just for fun, suspend their payments if they can't provide the evidence you need within 2 weeks.
We don't want thanks. We don't want pity. We DO want respect- for those we love and care for, and for ourselves. Most of us would do it all again in a heartbeat.
It's not our caring load that destroys us. It's a system and a society that treats our loved ones and what we do for them as less-than.
Happy Carers Week.