Ageing carers

Carers NSW staff can help with information, emotional support and referrals to support ageing carers. We can assist carers to access counselling and provide information on respite options, succession planning, emergency planning and financial, health and lifestyle planning for both the carer and the person being cared for.

Carer Information and Referral Service

Carers NSW can provide information, emotional support, planning and referrals to help you in your caring role.

We also help service providers and other people with information about carer supports and services.

For carer information, support and counselling contact Carers NSW between 9am to 5pm, free call: 1800 242 636

Counselling Service – National Carer Counselling Program

Short term counselling services are available to support carers to explore ways to manage their caring role and achieve a life balance. Contact Carers NSW between 9am to 5pm, on 1800 242 636 for a referral.

Emergency planning – Carer Information Pack

Planning ahead ensures you can let other people know what is required for effective care should you suddenly be unavailable as a carer.

Your Carer Information Pack contains a Carer Emergency Card. This is designed to let people know that somebody depends upon you for their wellbeing and to give the contact details of people who can help in an emergency. Keep your card up to date and carry it with you at all times.

For more information and free Carer Emergency Cards

Contact your local Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on free call 1800 052 222 for free copies of the 'Emergency Care Plan' and 'Carer Emergency Card'.

Future Planning - Financial, health & lifestyle planning

Carers may have to make legal, financial, medical or lifestyle decisions on behalf of the person they care for. Planning in advance can make difficult choices easier for the caring family.

Forward planning and decision making can minimise conflict and confusion within the caring family and ensure decisions are made in the best interest of the care recipient.

There are four legal tools which may assist caring families to plan how decisions are made on behalf of the care recipient in the future.

These legal tools are:

Power of Attorney 

Also known as a General Power of Attorney, a Power of Attorney has the legal ability to act on someone else's behalf in financial matters such as paying bills and managing money if for any reason they are unable to manage financial matters themselves. A General Power of Attorney does not allow the attorney to continue to act on your behalf after you have lost capacity. However, an Enduring Power of Attorney can allow this if a clause is included in the document indicating that the attorney's authority extends past the individual's loss of mental capacity.

Enduring Power of Attorney

An Enduring Power of Attorney only comes into effect when the person loses capacity, and can no longer make decisions or act on their own. A person must appoint their Enduring Power of Attorney before they lose capacity. An Enduring Power of Attorney cannot make lifestyle, accommodation or medical decisions and is limited to financial or property; only an enduring guardian can make lifestyle decisions on someone else’s behalf. Enduring Power of Attorney arrangements can be made so that they come into effect immediately or remain dormant until a specific event or circumstance arises.

Enduring Guardian

In NSW, an enduring guardian is someone appointed to make medical and lifestyle decisions on behalf of someone else. An enduring guardian makes these decisions if the person can no longer make them for themselves. Enduring guardianship needs to be set up before the person loses capacity.

Advance Care Directive 

An Advance Care Directive enables you to write down your decisions about the specific treatment and health care you would want in certain medical circumstances.

The NSW Trustee and Guardian has more information on wills and powers of attorney. The website of the Public Guardian also has information and factsheets on enduring guardianship. Visit Advance Care Planning Australia for more information on Advance Care Directives. 


Respite helps carers and their family find a balance between caring for others and caring for themselves. Respite gives carers the opportunity of a break from their usual caring role and duties, providing time-out for both the carer and the person they are caring for.

For more information about the options and services available in your area, contact the Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centre on free call: 1800 052 222



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Carers NSW acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land, Elders past and present and all Aboriginal people.