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2076.0 - Census of Population and Housing: Characteristics of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2011 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/11/2012  First Issue
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DISABILITY AND CARERS

KEY FINDINGS

In the 2011 Census:

  • 5% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in private dwellings required assistance with core activities, an increase from 4% in the 2006 Census
  • 10% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in non-private dwellings required assistance with core activities, the same proportion as in 2006
  • 13% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over provided unpaid assistance to a person with a disability, an increase from 11% in 2006.

NEED FOR ASSISTANCE

In the 2011 Census, 5% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people reported a need for assistance with core activities, including self-care (eating, washing, dressing or toileting), mobility or communication.

The likelihood of an individual needing assistance with core activities is strongly linked to their age. As the age structure of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is different to that of the non-Indigenous population (see Population Distribution and Structure in this publication), it is recommended that age standardised rates are used when comparing the need for assistance across the two populations. After adjusting for differences in age structure, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were twice as likely as non-Indigenous people to require assistance with core activities (8% compared with 4%).

Prevalence by age and sex

In the 2011 Census, the prevalence of need for assistance increased with age, from 3% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 34 years and under, to more than one-quarter (27%) of people aged 65 years and over.

Of those aged 24 years and under, the proportion of males reporting a need for assistance was double that for females (4% compared with 2%). The prevalence of need for assistance among 45 to 54 year olds was the same for both males and females (9%). For persons aged 65 years and over, the prevalence of need for assistance among females was greater than for males (29% compared with 25%).


NEED FOR ASSISTANCE, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people(a)

Graph shows that the prevalence of need for assistance increased with age, peaking among those aged 65 years and over.


Prevalence by dwelling type

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in non-private dwellings were twice as likely to need assistance with core activities as those living in private dwellings (10% compared with 5%). This differs from the non-Indigenous population, where people living in non-private dwellings were seven times more likely to have a need for assistance compared to people living in private dwellings (28% compared with 4%). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in non-private dwellings were less likely than non-Indigenous people to live in facilities that provide care to people needing assistance with core activities, such as nursing homes, hospitals or retired and aged accommodation (15% compared with 38%).

Of the 2,600 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in non-private dwellings who had a need for assistance, about two-thirds (67%) lived in hostels for the disabled, nursing homes, accommodation for the retired or aged (not self-contained), childcare institutions or other welfare institutions.


UNPAID ASSISTANCE TO A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY

In the two weeks prior to the 2011 Census, 13% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 years and over provided unpaid assistance to a person with a disability. This was slightly higher than the rate of unpaid assistance provided by non-Indigenous people (11%).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females were more likely to provide unpaid assistance than males (16% of females compared with 11% of males).

Of the 43,500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who provided unpaid assistance to a person with a disability, almost half (45%) were aged 25 to 44 years. The proportion of the population providing unpaid care decreased noticeably among those aged 55 years and over. This corresponds with a significant increase in need for assistance among people aged 55 years and over.


UNPAID ASSISTANCE TO A PERSON WITH A DISABILITY, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people(a)

Graph shows that those aged 35 to 44 years were most likely to provide unpaid assistance to a person with a disability.





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