In an emergency, always call triple zero (000). It’s a free call from any phone, mobile or phone box.

For other urgent medical issues, go to an Emergency Department.

Our Emergency Departments are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

Taking care of yourself

Carers are vulnerable to stress because of the physical and emotional demands of caring.  Stress may bring physical symptoms such as headaches or difficulty sleeping, anxiety or feeling very emotional.

Although it can be difficult, you need to consider your own needs as well as those of the person you are caring for.  If your health begins to suffer, caring will become more difficult and it will not be easy to continue doing all the things you need to do.

Here are some helpful tips for taking care of yourself:  

Getting out

Try to continue with activities you enjoy.  Even though the many responsibilities of caring can make it difficult to manage, it is important that you develop and maintain your own interests outside of your caring role.  Maintaining your interests can help your general health and well- being.

Some carers say that they feel guilty when they leave the house or enjoy an activity without the person they are caring for.  If you are finding it difficult to get out and about, it may help to talk to someone about how you are feeling.

Knowing you are not alone

It’s easy to feel isolated when you are a carer.  You might be too busy to keep up with friends and family and people may visit less often. 

Talking to someone who understands what you are going through can be a great relief.  Sharing your experiences with someone you trust can help.  When feelings, concerns and problems are shared, the experience of caring can seem less isolating. It is important that you don’t feel alone.

Why join a carer support group?

  • To meet other carers in a similar situation to yourself
  • To have a break from your caring role
  • Sharing of ideas, feelings, worries or problems can help you feel less isolated • To access information and resources about available support services in your local community

Regular Exercise, eating well and getting rest

Making time for regular exercise can help you feel more energetic and provide a break from your daily activities. It’s also important to look after your back, and get professional advice on the safest way to life or transfer someone you are caring for.  

Having healthy regular meals is not always easy to do, but it is important for your long term health and well-being.

Getting enough rest and sleep is important, since tiredness and exhaustion often add to the stress of caring.  

While taking breaks is not easy to do, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Respite care services can help you plan for regular breaks. The sort of break you take will depend on what suits you and the person you are caring for, as well as the services that are available in your local area.

Breaks can be taken in your home or away from home. They might be for a few hours, a day, overnight or longer. It might mean that you get the opportunity to have a massage, go to an exercise class, enjoy coffee with a friend, or go on a short break or longer holiday.

Practicing relaxation

Although it can be easier said than done, you need to take time for yourself every day. It doesn’t need to be long; 15 minutes can do wonders. Try to take some time to just sit and relax, read a magazine, listen to a relaxation CD or your favourite music.