Six phases of the carer journey

The Six Phases of Caring represent the typical phases of a carer’s journey.

The phases provide a general guide to the issues you may face, and the information and supports available to you at different points on your carer journey. The time you spend in each phase will vary, and you may cycle between the phases. You may even re-enter different phases several times.

Can you identify the phase you are currently in?

1 - Something is wrong

Phase 1 - Something is wrong

You become aware that something is not quite right with the person needing care. Or you may be aware of the illness but don’t yet understand it or know how to respond.

Go to Phase 1

2 - Confirmation

Phase 2 - Confirmation

A doctor or health care professional confirms something is not right, and you learn the extent of the illness.

Go to Phase 2

3 - Adjusting

Phase 3 - Adjusting

The initial shock wears off and you begin to adjust your life to meet the needs of caring. You know what is wrong with the person you care for and are working out how to provide ongoing care.

Go to Phase 3

4 - Managing

Phase 4 - Managing

You learn how to incorporate the caring role into your everyday life and have learned some coping strategies to help keep yourself well and reasonably healthy.

You have gained more experience with the illness and are gaining insight into its course and treatment.

Go to Phase 4

5 - Purposeful coping

Phase 5 - Purposeful Coping

You have increased your knowledge and skills. Your caring is now proactive and purposeful. You accept that you provide care and are involved in other parts of your life, including your own health and wellbeing, and in relationships with other family members and friends.

Go to Phase 5

6 - End of the caring role

Phase 6 - End of the caring role

Your caring role may end as a result of decisions made by yourself, the person needing care, or as a result of that person’s death. While the caring role may end, this doesn’t represent the end of the impact of caring.

Go to Phase 6