Today in Sydney, Carers NSW published the initial results from its 2018 survey of more than 1,800 carers of diverse circumstances and backgrounds.
The Carers NSW 2018 Carer Survey: Summary report contains key insights about the carer population in New South Wales and highlights the successes and challenges carers are experiencing as they engage with the service system and with paid employment.
“The biennial Carers NSW Carer Survey provides Carers NSW with a critical opportunity to hear from carers across the state about what matters most to them,” said Carers NSW CEO, Elena Katrakis.
“At a time of immense change in the disability, aged care, mental health and carer support sectors, solid evidence about carers’ needs and experiences is more important than ever.”
The typical survey respondent was a female primary carer aged between 45 - 64 years, educated beyond high school and not in paid work. Around half of respondents (51%) provided 60 plus hours of care per week, and nearly one in three (31%) had been caring for over 20 years.
Typically, carers who responded to the survey were caring for an adult son, aged 18 - 64 years with a physical disability and did not receive any assistance from other family members or friends.
Key findings from the Carers NSW 2018 Carer Survey include:
· Carers tended to be included in decision making about disability and aged care services for the people they cared for, but were much less likely to be asked about their own needs
· Many carers are spending more time organising support for the people they care for than they were two years ago
· Respondents reported lower wellbeing than in previous Carers NSW Carer Surveys, and higher levels of psychological distress than the average carer in New South Wales
· More than three quarters of carers with a long-term illness or disability said that their caring responsibilities had contributed to their condition
· Only one in four carers felt their caring role was recognised by their community
· One in three wanted more access to respite, counselling or carer support groups
· Forty per cent reported difficulty meeting their necessary living expenses
Ms Katrakis said: “Our survey findings suggest that carers are struggling to stay on top of sector changes and their health and wellbeing is suffering as a result. While carers often highlight the positive aspects of caring, governments, employers and the community need to do more to recognise the important and often challenging work carers do.”
Results from the Carers NSW 2018 Carer Survey will continue to be analysed and disseminated, with subsequent publications to be made available on our website.
Notes to the editor
About Carers NSW
Carers NSW is the peak non-government organisation for carers in NSW and a member of the National Network of Carers Associations. Our vision is an Australia that values and supports all carers.
For more information please visit our website: www.carersnsw.org.au
Elena Katrakis, CEO - 0421057305
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 Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2015 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers
NSW Survey Carers