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.
Essentially it outlines how their disability impacts not only their life but the lives of those around them. It goes into depth about the demands of the disability, the complexities it produces and the support that is required to assist in daily living. A carers statement is used by the NDIA (National Disability Insurance Agency) to assist families in verifying and explaining exactly how much support they need.
While incorporating a carers statement is not compulsory it assists in 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 carer's 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, it's beneficial to think about it from a viewpoint of a more difficult day.
My daughter can walk independently for about 50m before fatiguing. It’s amazing that she can walk independently without assisted devices for some parts of the day and I will take any opportunity to share that, but this wouldn’t be the time. A carers statement is where I need to discuss the impact that her fatigue has on her ability to access environments, the fact that sometimes she needs to be carried, the reality that the fatigue of her diagnosis has on her physically and mentally.
What information should be included in a carers statement?
It’s important to add in as much information about their disability as you can and clearly define how it impacts their day-to-day functioning.
Start with some background information of the individual who has the disability along with information about their carer and what their relationship is to them. It is useful to also discuss any health concerns and/or disability that you as a carer have.
- What they need support with. E.g., They are unable to look after their hygiene and need assistance with all aspects surrounding this, bathing, toileting, grooming.
- What their carer does to support them. E.g., Undresses and dresses them each day
- How the caring role affects you. E.g., Assisting them in and out of the car is taking a toll on your body.
- Your own needs as a carer. E.g., Impacting your ability to be able to partake in chores such as grocery shopping
- Whether you can keep caring for them in the future. E.g., Physical limitations impacting your ability to adequately care for them.
- What informal support they have. E.g., Family is not close by to assist carer with respite
- Other supports they may require. E.g., Unable to safely get them in and out of the bath and need hygiene options
Another way to write the statement is to work through the 8 categories of the NDIS and discuss each of them in more detail.
Other aspects that would be beneficial to include would be to discuss.
-all the caring aspects provided over a 24-hour period
-a clear description about how providing care impacts you physically, emotionally, socially, financially
-your capacity for employment
-the supports that are currently received and what would happen if they weren’t there to assist
It’s important to keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way to write a carer’s statement. It’s just an honest one page statement which is important so that the NDIS understands that while the plan needs to meet the individual with a disability’s needs it also needs to support your role as an ongoing carer.