This years National Carers week is celebrating individuals like Debra Fulloon.
Debra, who is based in South West Rocks, is a full time carer for her two sons (16 and 13).
"They both have Autism spectrum disability, not disorder, I like to say disability, because they have different abilities," Debra said.
"I reached out to Carers NSW when my oldest son was five, and throughout my personal journey they have supported me every step of the way."
The boys also have two support workers who assist with day to day activities.
For National Carers Week, Carers NSW is holding a range of free online events that will focus on the health and wellbeing of family and friend carers across the state.
Debra discussed the benefits from workshops she attended in the past.
"Getting together with other carers is the most important part, because my go-to support is another carer, and they've helped me get through some pretty tough times, and vice versa," she said.
Although COVID has been incredibly tough for us all, Debra discussed the positives that have come out of remote learning.
"My son had issues attending school and has only ever attended part time, but with these online learning sessions, his academics have been amazing and he has never done this well," she said.
National Carers Week runs from October 10-16 2021, with this year's theme of Millions of Reasons to Care aiming to raise awareness of the significant contribution that the 2.65 million carers across Australia make to society.
Carers NSW will also hold a range of free wellbeing workshops and webinars throughout the week. The full schedule is available online.
Carers NSW chief executive officer, Elena Katrakis, said National Carers Week has come at an important time this year.
"A midst such challenging times in the community, it is clear that the need to support and recognise carers has never been greater," Ms Katrakis said.
"It is important that carers are not just looking after the person they care for, but for themselves as well.
"This is why we will be running a range of free online events throughout National Carers Week that have a focus on the health and wellbeing of carers.
"We encourage carers to use this as an opportunity to do something for themselves and enjoy some of the activities we have on throughout the week."
- There are approximately 854,300 carers across NSW
- It is estimated that carers in NSW provided 692 million hours of unpaid care in 2020. ii
- The replacement value of that care (the cost were it provided by paid care workers) is estimated at $25 billion for NSW iii
- The demand for unpaid carers is at an all-time high and set to increase in the future iv
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