A Carers Statement is also known as an impact statement, it is written by someone who cares for or is involved in the treatment of an individual living with a disability. It is an important document that can be added to your child’s NDIS planning.
While incorporating a carers statement is not compulsory it assists is representing a clearly defined picture of how the disability impacts the individual and the care that is needed to support challenges that they may face. It gives carers an opportunity to explain the overall impact that the disability places on them and their family dynamic. It’s also an opportunity to state the different caring requirements then that of a similar aged child without a disability.
It can be quite uncomfortable to write a carers statement as it can be quite confronting to really zone into the harder realities of a disability. But doing so can certainly impact and affect the level of funding that is provided, so don’t hold back. You can use more personal language and it’s a raw and intimate way to provide a more accurate picture. When writing a carers statement you wouldn’t go by a standard day, its beneficial to think about it from a viewpoint of a more difficult day.
An example carers statement
It’s important to note that the NDIS does not specify that a carers statement needs to be written a certain way, nor do they provide a template or guideline. Below are 2 examples that a carers statement would typically cover.
To the NDIA,
My name is Karen Daley, and I am the carer and mother to Lacey Daley. I am writing this carers statement in support of my daughters NDIS application. I hope to describe the intensity of Lacey’s support needs, the care she requires each week, the impact on me as a carer and how additional supports will benefit my daughter’s needs.
Lacey is 7 years of age and has a diagnosis of spastic and dystonic quadriplegia cerebral palsy and level 2 autism.
I am a mother to 3 children and married to their father. I am Lacey’s fulltime carer outside of school as her father works long hours and is often away, this is needed since I have been unable to find employment that is flexible to suit the needs of our family dynamic. Lacey’s care requires a lot of support. Unfortunately, I do not have family around or many support networks I can call on to assist with my daughter’s needs.
Although Lacey wishes to be fiercely independent, she is severely affected on her right side by her cerebral palsy and is unable to perform many self-help tasks independently. She is unable to dress or undress herself, put her shoes and socks on, do her hair and needs assistance with toileting and bathing as she cannot get in the bath herself or stand in the shower unassisted. Lacey also needs assistance with using utensils, eating at times, and getting on and off a chair.
Lacey struggles with anxiety, emotions, and regulation. Her autistic meltdowns are becoming violent and very challenging to deal with. She has severe separation anxiety and requires me to be with her a lot of the time. She has two full time teachers’ aides for school but also gets extremely distressed when they are not around or if they need a day off.
As her carer I help her from the moment she wakes up until the moment she goes to sleep at night with all the above tasks. She also requires assistance getting in and out or a car and pushing of her wheelchair as she cannot use it independently.
Lacey is getting older now and is getting much heavier, she requires a lot more physical effort from me, and it is starting to take a toll on my body and effect me physically. Her current therapy is very much assisting her to try to be a little more independent, maintain strength and work on strategies to regulate. But funding isn’t ensuring we get her the amount of therapy she needs to really have a strong impact. Seeing as I have a younger daughter it is also getting hard to even manage to get her to the appointments myself without assistance and support.
It is difficult for me to do everyday tasks such as grocery shopping as I am unable to push her wheelchair and a trolley at the same time. I have yet returned to work as although she is at school now the mental and physical fatigue she has means that there a lot of days she needs to be picked up early. She is unable to go to before and after school care as by the end of the day her emotions are heightened and that’s when challenging behaviours are at their peak.
This past year has been a struggle for me as her carer to satisfy Lacey’s needs, it seems as she is growing up the needs and the demands are also growing. As mentioned, we don’t have family close by, my husband is not often home so I therefore am not able to get any respite and my mental health is suffering.
At minimum Lacey requires a motor option for her wheelchair to bring her more independence. And bathroom modifications to assist with bathing as my body simply cannot keep doing it all on its own. It has reached a point where I can no longer fulfil the needs and demands my daughter’s diagnoses provide and it pains me that I am no longer able to care for her on my own. Realistically extra support should have been put in place much earlier.
I hope the above will be taken on board when Lacey’s NDIS plan is being prepared.
Sincerely Karen Daley
To the NDIA,
In regards to the NDIS application of: Lucy Thompson
Name of the Primary Carer: Rebecca Lane
Relationship to NDIS applicant: Primary carer and mother
PRIMARY CARER’S STATEMENT
My name is Rebecca Lane, and I have written this Carer’s Statement in support of my daughter Lucy Thompson’s, NDIS application. I have tried to describe Lucy’s support needs, how much time I spend supporting Lucy every week, the impact on me as a carer, as well as show how she would benefit from additional support from the NDIS. Lucy’s official diagnosis is bilateral polymicrogyria perisylvian and ataxia and spastic cerebral palsy left hemiplegia with dystonia and clonus.
I am 43 and a single mum, Lucy is now 8 years old. Lucy is an active, vivacious girl who requires assistance to join in with her peers, this falls outside of normal parental responsibilities as I am constantly at her side, her coordination and balance needing support to avoid falls and injury.
I find working full time a challenge as constant days off required, due to appointments/therapies, Lucy is also up constantly at night needing massages as legs are in pain.
Lucy’s Dad and I separated when she was small, so the caring has fallen to me. He suffers from mental health issues and is present in Lucy’s life but not reliable. The only supports I have is my mum, who lives a few hours away.
Lucy is a lovely, kind-hearted person, but her physical limitations have made things hard for the last few years. Even though Cerebral Palsy is non progressive, keeping muscles toned and core strong is essential for Lucy’s strength, support, and progress. Bilateral Polymicrogyria Perisylvian effects Lucy’s memory and auditory processing.
Lucy can move unaided (a school wheelchair from sick bay is provided for her to use when fatigued). And she needs rails when walking up and down stairs and is much slower in movement. Lucy goes to mainstream school and loves interacting with her peers. She tries so hard, and I am so proud of her perseverance.
During covid and loss of face-to-face therapy and school Lucy’s muscles weakened, and we have noticed substantial regression. Currently her therapy supports are not enough to ensure Lucy is able to continue to keep strong and make gains.
As mentioned, I am a single mum and all of Lucy’s needs fall onto me, I need to work full time to support my family, but I also need to be able to take her to the therapy appointments she so desperately requires. Without having any family to assist the need of adding extra care is required so that Lucy can continue to live a happy and independent life and so that I can continue to provide for my children and take care of my own mental health.
I sincerely hope that my daughters needs and mine as a carer will be reflected on