Social isolation and profound loneliness are two common factors in the lives of unpaid carers in Queensland, Carers Queensland’s Quality of Life Audit 2018 has revealed.
Anxiety, depression and fear of the future were other issues shown in the study, which speak volumes on what life is like for carers in Australia. Details of the Survey Report were released in the lead up to Carers Week 2018.
Nearly 500 carers in Queensland participated in this year’s Quality of Life Survey with data suggesting that 51% of carers are lonely and 54% are socially isolated some or most of the time.
At the same time, 71% of carers indicated that their mental health had been affected as a consequence of their caring responsibilities, and 73% have experienced stress or anxiety also caused by their caring role.
Jim Toohey, Chair of Carers Queensland said loneliness is a serious issue among carers, affecting their overall health, and this is now becoming increasingly clear.
“Being a carer can be a very lonely and isolating experience. Making connections is not always easy and the lack of companionship and social connectedness contribute to loneliness,” Mr Toohey said.
Carers Queensland believes that without access to the appropriate support services at the right time, caring families will continue to experience lower quality of life than other population groups.
“At Carers Queensland we work with all caring families to improve their quality of life. We respond to their unique and changing situations by providing support services based on what they identify that they need,” he said.
The Quality of Life Audit is an integral component of Carers Queensland’s advocacy work on issues relevant to caring families. The survey measures and reflects the environment of caring families as they adapt to significant changes in the disability, mental health and aged care sectors.