WHEN 87-year-old Norm Gardner's 25th wedding anniversary came up last week, he knew exactly what to get his wife.

Instead of something silver, Norm got Audrey something useful - a mobility scooter.

Now the two can be seen wheeling with ease down the streets of their Urraween retirement village or popping out for a spot of shopping.

"It's good because we can trip to Stockland, pick up a copy of the Chronicle and go to the post office," Norm said.

The gift has been a game changer. Audrey, also aged 87, no longer sits inside the couple's home all day.

She can now go outside to feel the sunshine on her face when she chooses.

Before, even the most simple of outings were difficult.

Norm, who has had back surgery three times and who also uses a mobility scooter to get around, said it was becoming tricky to muster the strength to push Audrey in her wheelchair.

Audrey suffers from diabetes and other heath ailments and Norm looks after her by making sure she has her pills and food.

Norm and Audrey's story is one of unwavering commitment to each other with Norm acting as Audrey's carer.

Yesterday marked the beginning of National Carers Week, which aims to raise community awareness on invaluable contribution all unpaid carers make.

Norm is one of the 2.86 million unpaid family carers in Australia.

On top of a pension, he receives about $121 every fortnight to help him in his carer's role, he said.

"We're battling, but we're not going to give up," Norm said.

"But there's nothing we want and we're happy to sit at home."

Carers Weeks runs from October 11 to 17.



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