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1345.4 - SA Stats, Jul 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/07/2005   
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ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION

The June, September, December and March editions of his publication will provide an overview of the South Australian economy. In the intervening months this publication will feature articles that provide a South Australian perspective on economic, social and environmental issues.

This month the focus of the feature article is Carers in South Australia. Carers provide assistance to those who need help because of disability or age. The number of carer's in South Australia, their employment status and whether their needs are being met are all discussed.

If you have any comments about this product please contact Damian Sparkes on ph: (08) 8237 7425 or alternatively e-mail damian.sparkes@abs.gov.au.

CARERS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA

In 2003, 223,000 South Australians provided regular ongoing assistance to someone who needed help because of disability or age, according to data from the ABS Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (cat. no. 4430.0).

Nationally, 64% of carers lived in major cities. The Adelaide metropolitan area is considered to be the only major city in South Australia under the ABS Remoteness Structure (refer Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) 2004, Chapter 8 - cat. no. 1216.0).

Of the 223,000 carers in South Australia, over three-quarters (77%) of these carers lived in the Adelaide metropolitan area. This concentration of carers in major cities is greater in South Australia than in any other State.

LOCATION OF CARERS – 2003

Graph: LOCATION OF CARERS - 2003
Source: Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (cat. no. 4430.0)


PROPORTION OF CARERS LIVING IN A MAJOR CITY – 2003

Graph: PROPORTION OF CARERS LIVING IN A MAJOR CITY - 2003
Source: Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (cat. no. 4430.0)


Disability rates tend to increase with age. Not surprisingly therefore, South Australia has the highest reported disability rate in the nation (24%) compared with the national reported disability rate of 19%. The combination of centralisation of the population in Adelaide, and the high reported disability rate for South Australia, results in the concentration of carers in Adelaide (72%) being the highest when compared to all other major cities.

In South Australia, 19% of the total population is aged 60 years or over, a proportion that is higher than any other State or Territory. Also, the proportion of people aged 60 years or over that reside in the state capital is higher for South Australia (19% for Adelaide) compared to other States.


EMPLOYMENT STATUS AND INCOMES OF CARERS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Just over half (53.0%) of all carers, aged 15 years or more, in South Australia are employed, with one third (34%) employed on a full-time basis.

The median gross personal income per week of South Australian carers was $326, compared with a median of $371 per week for non-carers.

Only 46% of primary carers (ie those people that provide more care to a person with a disability than anybody else) were employed full-time, compared to 68% of non-primary carers having full-time employment. Part of the reason for this difference is nearly half of primary carers who were caring for a disabled person (48%) spent at least 40 hours each week providing care.

Over half the number of primary carers, aged 15 and over (58%), reported that they cared for a child, parent or family friend, while 42% were caring for their partner.

Carers were more likely to be reliant on a Government pension or allowance as their main source of income. This was the case with 37% of primary carers and 35% of non-primary carers, compared with 29% of non-carers receiving a Government pension or allowance.

It is also interesting to note that 44.0% of primary carers, and 35.0% of non-primary carers, reported that they had a disability.


NEED FOR FURTHER ASSISTANCE BY CARERS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA

An additional area of interest is whether the needs of primary carers, are being met. Of all carers living in major cities in South Australia, 17% were classified as primary carers.

In general, there was very little difference between the number of primary carers in Adelaide and other capital cities who reported needing further assistance or respite care.

Over one-quarter of primary carers in Adelaide (26%) reported needing further assistance in providing care, in line with the national average for all capital cities (26%). This was irrespective of whether carers reported already receiving assistance or not. Estimates of the proportion of primary carers residing outside capital cities who needed further assistance or respite care have not been included due to the unreliability of these estimates.

In Adelaide, 18% of primary carers reported that their needs for respite care were not being met. This was irrespective of whether respite care had been received in the past. The same proportion of primary carers in all Australian capital cities reported that their needs for respite care were inadequately met.

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