Wimmera residents doing unpaid caring for their loved ones sometimes need support themselves, and new funding is set to allow that support to continue and grow over the next four years.
On Friday June 28, Western Victoria MP Jaala Pulford said nearly $50 million state wide will go towards extra respite, transport concessions and grants for initiatives that support carers.
The government is giving the money to Grampians Community Health, Ballarat Health Services and Wimmera Health Care Group.
Ms Pulford said the package also included $3.5 million for half price public transport for Carer Card holders and free travel during Carers Week in October.
WHCG director of primary community care Tony Tuohy said his organisation would use the money to continue its current support programs through Community Options.
"The additional funding will go towards for care respite services will fund daytime respite," he said.
"Overnight respite is rarely used because of the cost associated with it, and not a lot of people want that service anyway.
"We also offer in-home respite: for a carer that is wanting to go down the street shopping or wants to be able to join in some leisure activities we provide respite to the carer can be looked after in their own home."
Mr Tuohy said many of the people who needed carers in the Wimmera were frail elderly residents.
"They are fairly highly dependent, so they rely on their family member to do a lot of the work we all just take for granted we can do ourselves. That limits the amount of time carers get to themselves for things like shopping and doctors appointments," he said.
Mr Tuohy said he had not yet heard the exact amount the service was getting from the state government. He estimated the service helped out around 200 people a year.
Peak body Carers Australia says carers are defined as people who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, an alcohol or other drug issue or who are frail aged.
Australia has over 2.7 million carers, 12% of the population.
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox twice weekly from the Wimmera Mail-Times. To make sure you're up-to-date with all the news from across the Wimmera, sign up below.