4125.0 - Gender Indicators, Australia, Feb 2015  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/02/2015   
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PROVIDING PRIMARY CARE TO PEOPLE WITH A DISABILITY


In 2012, over two-thirds (70%) of all primary carers were female. A higher proportion of females aged 15 years and over (5%) than males (2%) were primary carers who provided care to people with a disability.

People who provide care outside of institutions perform an important service, allowing people with disabilities to live in the community rather than institutions. (Endnote 1)

Caring can have beneficial effects for the carers, such as emotional satisfaction and strengthened relationships with those they care for. As well as these positive effects, a caring role may also have some negative effects. A person's ability to study, work or be involved in community activities may be limited by the time spent caring for others. The extent to which carers may miss out on various opportunities depends on the intensity, duration and timing of the care they provide. (Endnote 2)
Primary carers by age

The proportions of males and females providing primary care varies by age. Most female primary carers were aged between 35 and 64 years. Almost one quarter (24%) of female primary carers were aged 55-64 years and a further 22% were aged between 45-54 years. Another 21% were 35-44 years of age.

Male primary carers were generally older. Over one quarter (26%) of male primary carers were in the 55-64 year age group, 21% were in the 65-74 year age group and 18% were in the 45-54 year age group.

There were more women than men who were primary carers in the 25-34, 35-44 and 45-54 year age groups. However, the proportion of male primary carers was higher than females for the 65-74 age group and the 75 and over age group. One reason for the higher male carer rate in these older age groups may be that many older men are living with a spouse they are caring for, whereas older women are more likely to be widowed. (Endnote 3)

Graph: Primary carers, by age, 2012

Graph Image for Primary carers, by age, 2012 (a)

Footnote(s): (a) Persons aged 15 years and over for whom a personal interview was conducted. Persons aged 15–17 years were only interviewed if parental permission was granted.

Source(s): ABS Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia, 2012 (cat. no. 4430.0)



Labour force status of primary carers

More than half of all primary carers were not in the labour force. About two in five primary carers were employed with little difference between male and female primary carers (39% and 38% respectively).

Graph: Primary Carers by Labour Force Status, 2012 (a)

Graph Image for Primary Carers by Labour Force Status, 2012 (a)

Footnote(s): (a) Persons aged 15 years and over for whom a personal interview was conducted. Persons aged 15–17 years were only interviewed if parental permission was granted.

Source(s): ABS Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia, 2012 (cat. no. 4430.0)


Relationship with main recipient of care

Caring for a child, partner or parent who has a disability is a role mainly undertaken by family members (Endnote 4). Where a parent or a child was receiving care, female relatives were more likely to undertake this role.

In 2012, almost one quarter of male and female primary carers (22% and 25% respectively) provided primary care to a parent with a disability. Of those providing primary care to parents, 72% were female. Around 7% of male primary carers and 32% of female primary carers provided primary care to a child with a disability.

Just under two-thirds of male primary carers (65%) provided primary care to a partner, although women were more likely than men, on average, to be providing primary care to a partner. Women were more likely to undertake the role of primary carer (77%) when the recipient of the care was other than a parent, child or partner.

Graph: Primary carers, By relationship to main care recipient, 2012 (a)

Graph Image for Primary carers, By relationship to main care recipient, 2012 (a)

Footnote(s): (a) Persons aged 15 years and over for whom a personal interview was conducted. Persons aged 15–17 years were only interviewed if parental permission was granted.

Source(s): ABS Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia, 2012 (cat. no. 4430.0)


ENDNOTES

1. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2009, Australian Social Trends, Sep 2009, (cat. no. 4102.0) <www.abs.gov.au>.
2. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2009, Australian Social Trends, Sep 2009, (cat. no. 4102.0) <www.abs.gov.au>.
3. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2008, A Profile of Carers in Australia, 2008, (cat. no. 4448.0) <www.abs.gov.au>.
4. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2001, Australian Social Trends, 2001, (cat. no. 4102.0) <www.abs.gov.au>.