It is 6am and you have needed to get up only twice during the night to see to your elderly mother. You usually are up at least 4 times – panic sets in! You check on Mum and she is sleeping peacefully – what a relief.

Caring for an elderly loved one is not easy, but it brings with it a sense of giving back to that person who loved and nurtured you when you were growing up and learning about life. But no one gave you the ‘Offspring user’s manual – How to care for your ageing parent in 6 easy lessons!’ If it was put into print, there would be very few adult children who would believe what was written or expected.

Every day in Australia, over 861,000 people wake every day to the responsibility for providing the main care and support for another person, a person they love who needs between 20 and 40 hours of support from them every week. Appointments, cooking, cleaning, shopping, bathing and keeping their loved one safe – at home and whenever out in the community. All of us at Senior Helpers take our hats off to you – every one of the 2.65 million carers. Thank you.