They are society's heavy lifters - working tirelessly to support loved ones at a time of need, but unpaid carers remain largely invisible - Carers Australia is on a mission to change that.
As we approach National Carers Week (October 15-21), the advocacy body is calling on carers to share their stories on its website.
The organisation hopes carers sharing stories of the commitment they make in their role will help the general public better identify and appreciate carers in their own communities.
People who aren't carers are also invited to contribute by explaining why they think carers are so important to their community.
Howard Lance cared for his wife Patsy for almost 10 years until she died at the age of 67, in 2020.
The 72-year-old Perth resident said his role started with home care.
His caring duties involved planning and taking Patsy to medical appointments, filling prescriptions, administering medications, monitoring her diet (Patsy had Type 2 diabetes along with many other illnesses), grocery shopping and cooking.
Patsy was eventually placed in residential care, where Howard continued to play a role in ensuring she received the best available care.
Howard, who is now an ambassador for Carers Australia, said some carers are reluctant to share their stories.
"They're worried the level of care and support will be affected and that is a huge issue," he said.
"It is so important people speak up and share their story, it is one of the most effective ways to get the message across.
"No healing will take place without community involvement and we can all speak up and advocate."
He said he received a great deal of support from Carers WA - which offered him counselling and connected him with other carers.
Carers Australia chief executive Jane Bacot-Kilpatrick said Australia currently has about 2.65 million unpaid carers and National Carers Week is a great opportunity to pay tribute to them.
"Their contribution to the country's economy is phenomenal and many go unrecognised. They do what they do with little or no support," she said.
"So this National Carers Week, let's recognise these unpaid carers."
We all know caring is an extremely tough role, but how do senior carers compare to other Australians? According to Carers Australia's annual Carer Wellbeing survey, they are doing quite well.
According to the survey, carers continue to be at high risk of poor wellbeing and health. However, psychological distress was lowest amongst carers aged 65 and older.
The survey found 64.4 per cent of carers aged 75 or older reported a higher satisfaction rate, and reported experiencing positive outcomes from their caring role.
The report also showed that older carers were least likely to access supports and services.
The most common barriers to accessing support included difficulty finding high quality services, complicated application processes and long waiting times to access services.
To share your story online click here.
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