Thursday, October 25, 2007

Who cares?

I find it difficult to deal with recent figures on Australia’s disability and carer’s statistics. As much as I cross check there seem to be somewhere around 20% of the population in these two groups.

Putting that into numbers, in the context of a population of 21 million; there are an estimated 2 million people suffering serious disabilities and another 2.6 million registered carers. That latter figure, apparently, doesn’t count normal health workers.

There are real issues on the carer aspects, recognised in a minor way by a by a $28 million promise of help by the federal government. That amounts to a $500 a year bonus for these people who are often isolated from the rest of the community because of the pressure of their responsibility.

Respite is a major issue, with primary carers battling to find any way of providing even short periods of (that word again) respite. It is serious enough that thee is now a carer’s political party specifically targeting the senate in the current election campaign.

What really confounds me is that 20% of a society can remain largely hidden. It also raises questions when 10% are suffering disabilities serious enough to render them housebound or worse.

Somehow I think this is an issue which transcends money and demands some real studies into what is happening with our society.


enigma4ever said...

Good for you for looking into this...
carer's are caregivers- like family members right?

do they have Homecare and Homecare resources down there ?

Cartledge said...

They can be family and friends or some are part paid by government agencies.
The main responsibility is from stage govts, but the feds are complicating that by underfunding from tax revenues.
But there is still an enormous gap when it comes to respite. I guess te demand is pretty enormous.