Canberra carers report well-being results well below the national average, according to a recent report released by Carers Australia to coincide with National Carers Week 2021.
The Carrier Wellbeing Survey in 2021 found that ACT caregivers had an average well-being score of only 54, while the national average for caregivers is 75, and 53.5 percent reported that they suffer from poor general health.
With feelings of loneliness and isolation cited as two of the main causes of low well-being outcomes, Carers Australia encourages the community to express their gratitude to a caregiver in their lives and offer support to them where possible.
Carer’s ACT CEO Lisa Kelly said the inequality in well-being between carers and non-carers in Canberra should be addressed in the future.
They call on the ACT Government to provide funding and support for the implementation of the national care strategy, which they believe would help reverse current trends in personal well-being.
The care strategy implemented in NSW focuses on the six main principles of recognition and respect, information and access, financial security, services for carers, education and training, and health and wellness. It focuses on recognizing and meeting the diversity of Australia’s 2.65 million carers and meeting their diverse requirements.
“It is shocking to see that more carers in the ACT report have low to poor general health than elsewhere in Australia,” Kelly said.
“In a city like Canberra, where the majority of the population enjoys a high level of well-being, this is such a stark contrast and one that clearly shows that carers are being left behind.
“Caregivers face many challenges when it comes to balancing their care responsibilities with family and work responsibilities, which can often have a significant impact on their health and personal well-being.”
The theme for this year’s care week is the diversity of the modern caregiver.
“Caregivers come in all shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds,” Ms. Kelly said.
“At any point in your life, you have probably either been a caregiver, will be caring, or require care. So caregivers reflect the diversity of our society.
“Our youngest caregiver is around seven years old, our oldest caregiver is in their 90s, and caregivers are cutting across all genders and all family types.”
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According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, if Australia’s carers were replaced by paid workers, it would cost around $ 77.9 billion annually.
Nurses also report high levels of financial distress.
More than half of all carers – 52.8 per cent – reported that their household was either very poor, poor or just financially poor, compared with 33.8 per cent of Australians.
Nearly 60 percent reported that they had experienced at least one major financial stress event in the past 12 months, such as being unable to pay bills on time, going without heating or cooling, having to delay important purchases, or having to ask for financial help from friends and family compared to 35 per cent of Australians more generally by 2020.
For caregivers under the age of 45, three-quarters had experienced at least one financial stress event.