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1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2010   
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Family

CARING FOR THE ELDERLY AND DISABLED

People who provide care outside of institutions to people with disabilities and long-term health conditions, and to those who are frail or aged, perform an important service. Unpaid informal carers provide services that might otherwise cost over $30 billion annually (Access Economics 2005).

In 1998, around 450,900 Australians were primary carers for people with long term health conditions, or were frail or aged. By 2003, this had increased, by 5%, to 474,600 people, growing much more slowly than both the overall population and the aged. The primary caring role most often falls to immediate family, with the vast majority (91%) of primary carers being either a partner, parent or child. Most of these carers (78%) lived with the person needing care. While many husbands, fathers and sons provide care, in 2003, 71% of primary carers were women.

Primary carers of the elderly and disabled, 2003

Relationship to recipientRecipient of care
no.
% change
since 1998

WifeLives with
114,700
9
HusbandLives with
81,000
-5
MotherLives with
88,600
8
DaughterDoes not live with
47,400
-1
DaughterLives with
40,200
10
SonLives with
18,800
23
SonDoes not live with
16,200
31
Other female relativesDoes not live with
15,000
-12
Other female relativesLives with
11,700
-2
FatherLives with
7,300
-30

Total(a)
474,600
5

(a) Total includes friends or neighbours and other male relatives.
Source: ABS data available on request, 1998 and 2003 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers

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