4439.0 - Social Participation of People with a Disability, 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/06/2011  First Issue
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Getting out of the house GETTING OUT OF THE HOUSE

One issue which impacts on people’s ability to be involved in community activities and participate in social activities, is whether they feel they can leave their home and participate in activities as often as they like. Ideally, social participation should help empower a person, increasing their control over decisions they make about major aspects of their lives, such as their health and life quality and their access and use of health services (WHO, 2011).

SDAC 2009 found that over 37,000 people with disability don’t leave their homes. Of those people, 65% indicated the main reason they didn’t leave home was their disability or health condition. A further 22% indicated they didn’t want to leave their home.

Another 1.1 million people, or nearly 30% of people with disability indicated that they weren’t getting out of their home as often as they would like to. Their disability or health condition was the most common reason given for this (45%), with the cost of going out given as the second most common response (10%).

The severity of a person’s disability increased the likelihood of their disability being the main reason for them not getting out as often as they would like. Of those with a disability but no limitations, 5% who would like to get out more, indicated that their disability was the main reason why they did not get out, compared to 62% of people with profound or severe disability. In contrast, ‘not enough time' decreased in prevalence as the main reason given with increasing severity of disability, from 20% of people with a disability and no limitations, to less than 1% of people with profound or severe disability (see Graph 2).

Of people who did not leave home as often as they would like:

  • people with psychological and intellectual disabilities were the most likely to report fear or anxiety as the main issue (17% and 7% respectively);
  • people with sensory and speech disabilities were the least likely to report their own disability (47%); and
  • head injury, stroke or brain damage (58%) was the most prevalent disability group.

The age of the respondent influenced their reason for not leaving home as often as they would like and in creasing ly with age, own disability was given as the main reason. People aged 60 to 84 years were the most likely to report another person's disability or medical condition as the main reason why they didn’t leave home as often as they would like (13%). However, the cost of going out decreased in frequency as the main reason given amongst the elderly.

Of the people with disability in Western Australia who were not able to get out of their homes as often as they would have liked, 38% reported the main reason was their own health or disability, compared to 49% in Queensland.