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FORMAL ASSISTANCE - AGE AND SEX
Prevalence of disability increases with age1, as does a person's need for formal assistance.
Given the relationship between disability and age, it is not surprising that in 2012, many (67.3%) of those with an unmet need for this assistance were aged over 45 years. As would be expected, this is consistent with both overall disability prevalence and overall need for formal assistance, both of which are highest amongst these older age groups (for people living in private dwellings).
Footnote(s): a) Living in Households
Source(s): Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia 2012
The higher proportion of unmet need for those aged 0-14 years is due mostly to young males, who made up one-fifth (19.5%) of all males with an unmet need for assistance. In contrast, girls aged 0-14 years made up just 6.4% of all females with an unmet need.
The apparent drop in the level of unmet need for those aged 85 years and over reflects in part the fact that as people's needs for assistance increase, they are more likely to move into supported living arrangements such as nursing homes. As the data presented here are limited to those living in private dwellings (households), people living in long- term cared accommodation are not included in this analysis.
UNMET NEED FOR FORMAL ASSISTANCE BY AGE AND SEX
Amongst those with a need for assistance, males and females had a similar rate of need for formal services (61.1% compared with 64.0%, respectively), and were equally likely (50.8% and 50.5%, respectively) to report having an unmet need for this formal assistance. However, when examined across age groups, there are certain population groups that stand out as having high levels of unmet need.
While younger people have lower rates of disability, a considerable proportion of those with a need for formal assistance had an unmet need. In 2012, three out of five young people (aged 0-14 and 15-24 years) who required formal assistance had an unmet need for this formal assistance (60.6% and 60.0% respectively).
The high rate of unmet need for formal assistance in the younger age groups was due in greater part to young males. Around three-quarters (76.0%) of boys (aged 0-14 years) and half (50.0%) of young men (aged 15-24 years) with disability who needed assistance required formal services. Of those who needed formal services, around two-thirds of both boys (63.6%) and young men (66.7%) had an unmet need. The higher rate of unmet need amongst young males could be related to disability type, severity or the types of assistance they require.
Footnote(s): a) Living in Households who reported a need for formal assistance
Source(s): Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia, 2012
In contrast, while around two-thirds of girls (aged 0-14 years) and young women (aged 15-24 years) who needed assistance required formal services (69.7% and 62.2%, respectively), the proportion of those who needed formal assistance who had an unmet need was lower (56.1% and 59.5%, respectively). The rate of unmet need for formal assistance remained fairly stable for women up to the age of 64 years.
1. Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2012, ( cat. No. 4430.0),
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