Caregivers and Community Services Non-use in Australia

Publication type

Conference Paper


ISA (RC11 - Sociology of Aging) Conference


Publication date

September 8, 2004


Community services designed to support carers can significantly improve their health and welfare. Formal services complement rather than substitute for informal care; however, few Australian carergivers make use of the formal services on offer. There appears to be a significant number of carers who would benefit from the support of formal services but do not take them up. This chapter uses the 1998 Australian Survey of Disability Ageing and Carers to explore the characteristics of carers who may be isolated from appropriate formal support networks, specifically highlighting the care situations of carers who do not access formal services and the reasons why people report not using services. The research also focuses on the service non-use of carers who may have higher needs for support, such as carergivers who are in poor health themselves and young carers. For primary carergivers, take up of formal services increases as the number of hours of support provided per week increases. Men and women providing care make use of different combinations of services. Australians from minority ethnic and linguistic groups are less likely to use services. The findings of this research may assist in more appropriate targeting of resources to support these isolated carers.

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