Recent outcomes from a survey conducted by Carers Australia and the University of Canberra has identified that unpaid carers are lonelier, in poorer physical and mental health, and are less likely to be employed compared to the average Australian.
The first National Carer Wellbeing Survey, released as part of National Carers Week 2021, has found that Australia’s 2.65 million unpaid carers are two and a half times more likely to have low wellbeing, and much higher psychological distress, compared to the average Australian.
Carers Australia CEO, Liz Callaghan, said, “It is distressing to see the impact caring can have on a person. The caring role can be a rewarding one, but is often so demanding.”
Previous research tells us that carers provided 2.2 billion hours of care in 2020, with a replacement value of $77.9 billion annually.
However, we also know that the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an increase in the quantity and intensity of unpaid care being provided, which would only amplify the ill-effects identified in this new research, said Ms Callaghan.
The survey results also found that only 19 per cent of carers could easily organise family or friend support, and almost 45 per cent of carers believe their caring responsibilities regularly impact their relationship with their families and friends.