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Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

More help for ageing parents caring for sons and daughters with disabilities

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today announced that an advisory body would be established to develop options to help ageing carers plan for the future care of their sons and daughters with disabilities.

“The Australian Government recognises the valuable role carers play in caring for their families and will continue to provide support and assistance to carers by taking a lead role with the states and territories,” Senator Patterson said.

“Parents are often worried about the future care arrangements for their sons and daughters with a disability when they can no longer provide this support. For this reason, the Australian Government proposed that the Community and Disability Services Ministerial Council establish an advisory body. Ministers have today agreed that a working group comprising all jurisdictions be established to develop options to progress this initiative and to report back to Ministers.

“Parents spend a large part of their lives caring for their sons and daughters with disabilities and there can be significant stress involved in finding alternative solutions when they reach the point where they feel they cannot continue in their caring role,” Senator Patterson said.

Key stakeholders from the disability sector including the National Disability Advisory Council, Carers Australia and National Family Carers Voice, will be invited to participate along with representatives from the Australian, State and Territory governments.

“The body will develop options to help ageing parents caring for their sons and daughters with disabilities plan for their future care and accommodation needs. Establishing this advisory group is an important step in ensuring families are aware of all the options available to them, including care, accommodation and financial advice, so that their sons and daughters continue to receive the support they need into the future.

“Including representatives from the disability and carer communities is important in ensuring that the views of those most affected are included in options which will be made available to ageing carers. We hope this initiative will give parents certainty and peace of mind about their children’s future,” Senator Patterson said.