Quality of Life survey shows carers are becoming more socially isolated
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.
Jim Toohey, Chair of Carers Queensland released details of the Survey Report at the launch of National Carers Week 2018 at Hillstone St Lucia last Friday.
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.
Mr Toohey 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.
“Some carers only see and speak with a few people or see only support staff. 37% of the survey respondents believe their role is not valued and recognised within their communities,” he 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 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.
Other key findings:
- 60% of the carers provide 12 or more hours of care per day
- 37% of carers are dissatisfied with their ability to access educational and learning opportunities
- 22% believe their quality of life will worsen and 54% expect it to stay the same over the next year
- 35% of the carers said they provide care because they are family and 18% do it because of the cost of formal support services
- 38% said they struggle to maintain a healthy diet
- 50% struggle to get enough exercise
- 64% had trouble getting a enough quality sleep
- 14% LGBTI carers care for a spouse or partner
*Carers Queensland gratefully appreciates the continued support from Transurban Queensland and the funding support from the Queensland Government to assist with regional activities during Carers Week 2018.
For more information contact:
P: (07) 3900 8125