Caring for a loved one with an illness, injury or disability can be a lot to handle. We'll guide you through important carer responsibilities, tasks for your to-do list, and how to get the support you need.

Looking after your finances

With such a lot on your mind, it’s easy to forget how much being a carer can set you back financially. Here are some money tips to help.

Consider the reality of earning less

You may need to cut back on your hours—or stop work completely. If this happens, you'll need to plan for less money in your pocket.

If you need to reduce your hours, speak to your employer. Remember, under the National Employment Standards, you have the right to a flexible working arrangement after 12 months in your job.

This may also have a knock-on effect on your super, as you won’t be earning as much. Think about making your own super contributions to continue growing your retirement savings. You may wish to speak to a financial adviser about options to assist.

Government payments explained

Make sure you get all the support you need:

Get help with your payments

If you’re having trouble keeping on top of payments, talk to your lender.

If you’re with NAB:

Stay on top of your finances

Create plans for your debts, expenses and goals to help improve your financial situation:

Stay connected and take breaks

Chat to friends and family in person, or on FaceTime, Skype and WhatsApp. You may also find a carer support group in your area to talk to others in similar situations.

Make time to connect with others and enjoy regular ‘me time’. Learn how respite care works and find a respite service near you to schedule breaks from your caring duties.

Think about your mental health

Apps like Headspace and Smiling Mind can help you calm your mind by guiding you through a few minutes of meditation.

Strategies for managing stress and coping with anger, frustration and guilt can also help you stay committed.

Utilise support services

Take advantage of these carer support services:

Staying in shape

Caring can sometimes be hard work – both mentally and physically. To keep your body in shape, see:

Plan for the future

Help your loved one prepare for their future by putting necessary steps in place. Also think about:

We're here to help

We have a number of resources to help you be the best carer you can be:

Glossary

Anxiety

A feeling of nervousness or unease about something with an uncertain outcome that's more than just feeling stressed or worried. It’s when anxious feelings don't go away—when they're ongoing and happen without any particular reason or cause.

Carer's allowance

A fortnightly income supplement from the government (if you meet eligibility) if you give daily care and attention to someone who has a disability, serious illness, or an adult who is frail and old.

Carer’s leave

Time off work to care for or support a member of your immediate family or household who is sick, injured or has an emergency. It's taken as either paid or unpaid personal leave. Learn more about carer’s leave.

Community nursing services

Services provided by a community health nurse, including care after a hospital stay, general nursing care, 'hospital in the home' services, palliative care nursing assistance and wound management.

Counselling and support services

A range of services provided by the government, charities and other community organisations. These are provided over the phone, via online chat and in person to help you cope emotionally, financially and with other important matters. Learn about them in more detail.

Depression

Depression is a common and serious medical illness that affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. It causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in once enjoyable activities. Find out about depression in detail and how it can be treated.

Home modification funding

Home modifications involve changing structures, layout or fittings to allow an older person or someone with disability to safely move around their home.

Hospital care

Care delivered in a hospital environment, including acute, subacute and episodic care. Learn about each type of hospital care in more detail.

Financial hardship assistance

NAB may be able to offer you if you’re struggling to make your repayments for your loan or credit card because you don’t have the money to do so. This could be because of illness, injury or other unexpected life events. Learn more about financial hardship.

Insurance

Financial protection you pay for now so you could be covered by an agreed compensation payment for the unexpected life events outlined in your policy, such as illness, injury or death. Different types include private health insurance, income protection insurance, life insurance and mortgage protection insurance.

Palliative care

Palliative care is care that helps people live their life as fully and as comfortably as possible when living with a life-limiting or terminal illness. It can focus on managing physical symptoms, like pain or nausea. It can also help with emotional, spiritual, cultural and social needs.

Residential care

Residential care refers to any care and services someone receives when they are living in a care facility.

Respite

Regular breaks from your role as a carer. Respite can help relieve stress for the carer and the person receiving care.

Super

Super is a regular payment made into a super fund by an employee towards a future pension. For most people, your employer must pay an amount equal to 9.5% of your salary into your super fund account. Your super savings can be self-managed, or controlled by the superannuation fund of your choice.

Important information

The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, NAB recommends that you consider whether it’s appropriate for your circumstances. NAB recommends you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.

After more information?Other related articles

How to get financial help when you're sick or injured

Your health and your loved ones are important. Having a financial plan in place in case of unexpected injuries and medical issues means you can focus on what matters most, and let the money take care of itself.

How to plan for unexpected illness and injury

Life is unpredictable. When it comes to dealing with illness and injury, this step-by-step checklist will guide you through the process.

Recovering from an illness or injury

Dealing with an illness, accident or injury can be tough. Here's how to get the financial and emotional support you need, plus help with your day-to-day at both home and work.

When things don't go to plan

Five practical steps you can take to get on top of things – and take charge – if you’re experiencing financial difficulty.

After more information?Related products and services

Life insurance

Thinking about life insurance? At NAB we can protect you with cover for funeral costs, critical injuries and more.

Home loan insurance

Want to learn about home loan insurance? At NAB we'll give you peace of mind when the unexpected happens like you lost your job and much more.

Personal loan insurance

NAB Personal Loan Cover can help meet your loan repayments if you lose your job, are unable to work from injury or illness or diagnosed with a defined critical illness and may pay a lump sum to cover the loan balance if you die.

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