Carers are the quiet achievers in our community who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness, drug or alcohol issue, or who are frail.

Carers SA staff are here for carers of all ages and advocate on behalf of all carers to raise recognition of carers and awareness of the issues they face.

Carers share their life experiences and their needs with our staff; and discuss what affects carers in carer forums and in our Carer Advisory Groups across South Australia. Every two years, Carers SA sends out a call to all SA carer to have their voices hear by participating in a comprehensive Carer Survey that investigates the details of how carers experience their caring role and life itself.
The Carer Survey 2017 has received outstanding support from carers with 1688 carers participating.

Our community mantra: Anyone, Anytime can become a Carer certainly got confirmed though our survey, with 17% of respondents reporting that they have become a carer within the last two years. It is therefore of ongoing importance for the community, health services and Government agencies and employers to encourage carers and those who newly identify as carers to contact a carer support service as their source of carer related resources, information and support.

A big thank you also to employers who raised carer awareness within their organisation and who identified and encouraged their staff members who had caring responsibilities to participate in the survey. The results paint a positive picture of South Australian employers: of the 48% of carers who are managing work and care, 59% reported that their employers are supportive of employees with caring responsibilities.

Although employment related income has a positive effect on household finances, 45% of caring household incomes are less than $40,000 per year. With 30% of carers reporting that they are financially worse off this year than they were last year and 66% of respondents listed the cost of living in SA as their main concern.

The survey data clearly highlights Carer Wellbeing as a major concern. Most carers (57%) had no help or only occasional help during the last 12 months. An overwhelming majority of carers (71%) have less than 5 hours of “me time” per week where they do not need to attend to caring or other household duties. As a result, 87% of carers put the needs of the person they care for before their own.

For more results, please feel free to download the Carers SA Carers Count 2017 Survey Data Summary Sheet.

 

Marianne Lewis

Senior Policy, Projects and Carer Engagement Officer