The effects of caring

The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.

See more resources on The effects of caring in the AIFS library catalogue

Security in old age for older single women without children

Hamilton M, Hodgson H, Bradbury B, Ip M, Adamson E and Van Toorn G
Sydney, N.S.W. : University of Sydney, 2020.
Most research into the why older women are at high risk of poverty focuses on the 'motherhood penalty', but a significant and growing number of women are single and childless. This report was commissioned to learn more about the economic circumstances and risk factors of older single women without children. It investigates: how these women are faring in employment, superannuation, housing and aged care; how this compares with other gender and relationship groups; and how public policies and financial advisors help these women obtain financial security in later life. The report reviewed national legislation, analysed data from yhe Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, and surveyed 45 older women and 10 financial advisors and housing specialists. The findings challenge the idea that people without children must have uninterrupted careers and healthy retirement savings. Being single meant they could not benefit from sharing financial burdens with a partner, and older single women over the age of 45 without children take on more care responsibilities for family members who are ageing or have a disability than any other group of that age.

Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey: insights into the prevalence and nature of impacts from COVID-19 on households in Australia, November 2020

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Canberra : Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2020.
This webpage looks at how Australians responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in November 2020. It presents findings from a survey of around 3,400 adults, conducted between 13-23 November 2020, regarding: comfort with shopping in person; feelings of emotional and mental wellbeing; use of Telehealth services; health precautions; care and assistance provided to vulnerable people inside and outside the household; use of stimulus payments; job status and absences from work; and perceptions of the future after the COVID-19 pandemic. During this survey period, most states and territories reported only low case numbers, and many restrictions had been eased. The findings highlight Australians' growing comfort with online services, including online shopping, using telehealth for health care. Wellbeing has also improved since August, with fewer people reporting poor mental health.

One day the support was gone: the mental health impact of COVID-19 on people living with dementia, their families and carers

Dementia Australia (Organization), University of Sydney
Hawthorn, Vic. : Dementia Australia, 2020.
People living with dementia already experience lower levels of social engagement, inclusion and connectedness, and the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic have made them even more vulnerable to poor mental health outcomes. This paper highlights this issue and makes recommendations for policies and programs to better support people living with dementia, their families and carers. It features quotes and insights from a recent survey of people living with dementia, their families and carers, which found greater levels of cognitive decline and lower wellbeing.

Sleep deficits in Australian carers: understanding and helping the sleep deficits of Australian carers

Reynolds A, Sprajcer M, Vincent G, Gibson R, Kovac K, Adams L, Dorrian J, Gupta C, Paterson J, Thomas M and Ferguson S
Canberra, A.C.T. : Carers Australia, 2020.
A recent systematic review found that the sleep of carers is poorly understood, including what aspects of caring work contribute to poor sleep. To learn more about this issue, a survey was conducted with 362 carers, regarding the prevalence of poor sleep, sleep duration, characteristics such as age, employment, government payments, health status or medical condition of care recipient, use of assistive technology, use of respite, sharing a bed or bedroom with the care recipient, their views on why their sleep was disrupted, and sleep management strategies employed. The study found that sleep quality and sleep duration were poor across carers of all ages, with worry and rumination about the health and wellbeing of the care recipient the most prevalent cause of sleep disruption, followed by carers being awake and listening for disturbance from their care recipient. Only half of the carers have sought help for sleep problems. The findings of the systematic review are also briefly discussed.

2020 National Carer Survey: summary report

Carers NSW (Organization)
North Sydney, N.S.W. : Carers NSW, 2020.
This report provides a snapshot of the characteristics, experiences and needs of carers across Australia. It presents the findings of a survey of 7,735 carers, largely primary carers caring for a spouse or adult child with a physical disability, chronic condition or mental illness. The survey was conducted together by all of the state and territory carers associations at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and looked at the caring relationship, use of services and support, paid work, health and wellbeing, carer recognition, wellbeing and psychological distress, social connectedness, finances and financial wellbeing, income, and financial stress and distress. The findings highlight the long term and high intensity nature of care, the considerable personal impacts, and the limitations of current support services. The questionnaire and state and territory breakdowns of findings are also included as appendices, and also published separately.

General Social Survey: summary results, Australia, 2019.

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Canberra, ACT : Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2020.
This website provides new data on the social characteristics, wellbeing and social experiences of people in Australia. It presents statistics from the 2019 General Social Survey, which was conducted with approximately 3,500 households from across Australia. Key topics include: life satisfaction; personal stressors; involvement in social, community support, and civic and political groups; family and community support; cultural tolerance and discrimination; trust; financial stress; and voluntary work. It also looks at populations of interest, including people with a mental health condition, long term health condition, or disability, migrants, people who have experienced homelessness, and people with different sexual orientations. Findings include: just over two-thirds of respondents had face to face contact with family or friends living outside their household at least once a week; nearly one in five were unable to raise $2,000 within a week for something important; one in six had experienced some form of discrimination in the past year; and just over one in ten had been without a permanent place to live at some time in their lives. Comparisons are also made with findings from previous surveys.

COVID-19 and carers: a review of the evidence

Carers NSW (Organization)
North Sydney, N.S.W. : Carers NSW, 2020
This briefing paper highlights the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on carers. It summarises the key consistent themes in the research relating to carers from Australia and the comparable jurisdictions of the UK, Ireland and the USA. The main challenges relate to health and wellbeing, service access, caring role, education and employment, finances, and technology, and the evidence suggests that carer stress levels are unlikely to abate even as immediate public health risks decrease. The paper concludes with some policy recommendations.

Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey, 6-10 July 2020

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Canberra : Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2020.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has undertaken a series of surveys into the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic on households. This webpage presents the findings of the eighth and final survey, undertaken from 6-10 July 2020 with 990 adults, at a time when most states and territories had few or no cases and restrictions were easing, but when cases had begun to rise again in Victoria, with new restrictions imposed there. Participants were asked about life after COVID-19 restrictions, unpaid care and domestic work, use of mental health and related services, and job status. Three in five of the respondents considered their mental health to be excellent or very good, while one in seven reported their mental health as fair or poor - findings which are slightly worse than those of a general survey in 2007. One in five women had used a mental health or support service since March 2020 compared with one in ten men, and women were twice as likely as men to report they performed most of the unpaid domestic work and more than three times as likely to report they performed most of the unpaid caring responsibilities in their household. Overall, one in six of the respondents spent more time on unpaid domestic activities and one in three increased their time spent caring for others, as compared to the time before the restrictions.

'The responsibility has fallen on us': perspectives on the impact of COVID-19 on women and girls with disabilities in the ACT and region

Women with Disabilities ACT
Canberra : Women with Disabilities ACT, 2020
Advocacy group Women with Disabilities ACT recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting women and feminine identifying and non-binary people with disabilities in the Australian Capital Territory. To understand this issue further, a study was commissioned into the experiences and needs of these women. A survey was held with 72 women and interviews with 10, regarding the impact on language support needs, caring responsibilities, living situation, employment, safety concerns, and financial support, as well as COVID-19 testing, information sources, and sources of help. The participants raised themes of abandonment, social isolation, disruption to essential services, and the particular issues facing young people. The findings highlight how emergencies like pandemics broaden the gaps and increase the burdens already faced by these women. The report concludes with recommendations for government.

Changes in paid and unpaid activities during the COVID-19 pandemic: exploring labour supply and labour demand

Biddle N, Gray M, Jahromi M and Marasinghe D
Canberra, ACT : ANU Centre for Social Research & Methods, 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions have had a large impact on the labour market beyond what is captured by standard labour market measures. This paper investigates changes over the start of the pandemic in paid work and unemployment, active job seeking, participation in education, and housework and informal care, drawing on data from community polls conducted from February to May 2020 and the Labour Force Survey. It finds initial losses of employment and hours worked, and subsequent slight improvements, have been felt differently across population and occupation groups - as has participation in unpaid activities. Hours spent working from home have increased for both men and women. Men are slightly more likely to have moved into education as their main role, and are far more likely to be still actively seeking work, whereas women who stopped working were far more likely to have taken on housework and caring roles, and to have stopped looking for work.

Mental health of people in Australia in the first month of COVID-19 restrictions : a national survey.

Fisher J, Tran T, Hammargerg K, Sastry J, Nguyen H, Rowe H, Popplestone S, Stocker R, Stubber C and Kirkman M
Medical Journal of Australia v. 213 no. 10 2020: 458-464
This article looks into the impact of the restrictions imposed by the COVID019 pandemic on mental health in Australia. It presents findings from a survey of 13,829 adults on depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and irritability, and considers associated risk factors. The study finds that mental health problems were at least twice as prevalent during the pandemic than beforehand, in particular among people who had lost jobs, lived alone or in poorly-resourced areas, were caring for dependent family members, or were members of marginalised minorities, women or young people. The implications for public health responses are also discussed. Note, this is a preprint version of an article submitted for publication. Changes may be made before final publication.

COVID-19 carer survey: summary of results

Caring Fairly Coalition, Mind Australia Limited
Heidelberg, Vic. : Mind Australia, 2020.
This paper provides insights into unpaid carers' experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia. It highlights findings from a survey of 471 carers, conducted from 21 April - 5 May 2020. Participants were asked about the impact of the pandemic on work and income, expenses, health and wellbeing, and access to services and supports. Overall, the responses indicate considerable impacts upon carers. Almost half reported needing to increase the amount of time they spent providing unpaid care, due to care recipients' loss of supports or reduced wellbeing. Nearly half had also lost supports for themselves and the majority said their mental health had deteriorated. Caring Fairly is a national campaigning coalition advocating on behalf of unpaid carers, and is coordinated by Mind Australia.

Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey, 12-15 May 2020

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Canberra : Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2020.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics will be undertaking a series of surveys into the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic on households. This webpage presents the findings of the fourth survey, which involved 1,002 adults from 12-15 May 2020. Participants were asked about their job situation, eligibility for the JobKeeper payment, whether they had accessed superannuation early, use of temporary payment relief, caring and assistance provided to people inside and outside the household, childcare and schooling arrangements, and temporary living arrangements. Three in four of the respondents with children reported keeping their child home from school or childcare due to COVID-19, while one in five changed their working hours to care for children kept at home - women were almost three times as likely as men to look after children full-time on their own. One in eight of the respondents provided unpaid care to a vulnerable person living outside their household because of COVID-19, such as by shopping or providing of meals.

Rapid gender analysis of Covid-19 in Australia

Nguyen M, Mundkur A, Molony T, Nguyen A, Ra R and Howley T
Canberra, A.C.T. : CARE Australia, 2020.
This paper reviews evidence on the gendered impacts of COVID-19 and makes recommendations to government to help monitor and help address the impacts on women. In particular, the paper looks into the issues of unpaid and paid care, gender-based violence, and access tp health and public services. The COVID-19 pandemic affects not only health but society as well. Though men and women are equally susceptible to this disease, there are disproportionate impacts on women. For example, women make up almost 80 per cent of the health and social assistance industry, putting them at higher risk of exposure; women comprise the majority of part-time and casual workers and workers in service industries, which are being hardest by the economic impacts; women are expected to undertake more unpaid care work; and gender-based violence tends to increase in times of disaster, which family isolation requirements may exacerbate.

A dynamic analysis of informal elder caregiving and employee wellbeing.

Cheng Z, Jepsen D and Wang B
Journal of Business and Psychology v. 35 no. 1 Feb 2020: 8598
This article looks at whether providing informal care to a parent affects an employed person's wellbeing. Using data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, it investigates whether time spent caring for a parent or parent-in-law is associated with an employed person's subjective wellbeing, general life and job satisfaction, satisfaction with free time, employment opportunities, work-life balance, job security, pay, or working hours. Differences by gender, white/blue collar work, and full/part time work are also examined. The study finds that providing care has a positive affect on wellbeing overall and on women's life satisfaction, though long caring hours are associated with a negative impact on satisfaction with free time and job satisfaction for some groups of workers.

No space in my brain to learn: young carers and their engagement with education : an analysis of applications to the Carers Australia Bursary Program 2017-2018

Moore T, Bourke-Taylor H, Greenland N, McDougall S, Bromfield L, Robinson L and Brown T
Canberra, A.C.T. : Carers Australia, 2019.
Providing care to a family member can take a toll on young people's lives, including on their ability to attend, belong and achieve well at school. To assist carers aged 12-25 years to continue or return to study, the Australian Government established a national Young Carers Bursary Program to help with financial support. The program is administered by Carers Australia and has supported over 1,600 young carers since 2015. This study was commissioned to learn more about the characteristics and lived experiences of young people applying for the scheme, including the barriers that restricted their attendance, achievement and participation, and differences between young people with lower and higher levels of school engagement. The findings highlight how caring responsibilities can affect young people's ability to attend, concentrate and socialise at school, and that these young people have few supports at home or at school and can face additional hardships such as financial stress and social isolation.

Quality of life audit 2019

Walbank S
Camp Hill, Qld. : Carers Queensland, 2019.
While caring can be rewarding, it can also have significant long term negative effects on carer's health, wellbeing, relationships, employment and social and financial inclusion. This annual survey measures the quality of life of carers in Queensland. This report presents findings from the 2019 survey, conducted with 569 carers from across Queensland. Participants were asked about the personal and caring circumstances, overall current quality of life, income, housing affordability, standard of living, health and wellbeing, connecting with others in the community, satisfaction with personal relationships, loneliness and social isolation, sense of safety and future security, sense of role recognition, barriers to accessing carer support services, and use of support services.

Economic costs of informal care for people with chronic diseases in the community : lost income, extra welfare payments, and reduced taxes in Australia in 2015-2030.

Schofield D, Shrestha R, Zeppel M, Cunich M, Tanton R, Veerman J, Kelly S and Passey M
Health and Social Care in the Community v. 27 no. 2 Mar 2019: 493-501
This article provides estimates on the economic costs of informal care from 2015 to 2030 in Australia. It uses a microsimulation model based on data from the Survey of Disability, Ageing, and Carers. The estimates indicate that $3.58 billion of national income was lost was 2015, and that this will increase to $5.33 billion in 2030. This includes lost productivity from non-labour force participation, lost tax payments and extra welfare payments. The findings highlight the significant economic costs of caring for both the informal carers themselves and the government.

Intellectual disability and autism : socioeconomic impacts of informal caring, projected to 2030.

Schofield D, Zeppel M, Tanton R, Veerman J, Kelly S, Passey M and Shrestha R
British Journal of Psychiatry v. 215 no. 5 Nov 2019: 654-660
This article estimates the projected economic costs of informal care for people with intellectual disability or autism spectrum disorders over the next 15 years. It calculates lost income, lost tax to federal government, and increased welfare payments, from 2015 to 2030, based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Surveys of Disability, Ageing and Carers. The estimates highlight the high cost of caring for individuals and the government, and how these costs will only increase significantly in the near future.

Identifying the social costs of tobacco use to Australia in 2015/16

Whetton S, Tait R, Scollo M, Banks E, Chapman J, Dey T, Abdul Halim S, Makate M, McEntee A, Muhktar A, Norman R, Pidd K, Roche A and Allsop S
Perth, WA : National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University, 2019.
This report provides estimates on the costs of tobacco use to Australian society. It looks into the costs of premature mortality and wasted life years, stillbirths, hospitalisation and morbidity, primary care and patient medical costs, long term care and informal care, workplace absenteeism and presenteeism, expenditure on tobacco by dependent smokers, smoking cessation medications, fires and litter, and reduced quality of life. Revenue impacts are also considered, and the methodology used is also described in detail. The findings highlight the immense burden of smoking on individuals and society, despite its declining prevalence over recent decades. The estimated tangible cost of tobacco use to Australia in 2015/16 is $19.2 billion, with estimated intangible costs of a further $117.7 billion. The greatest share of the costs of smoking are borne by smokers, former smokers and their families.

Insights into hardship and disadvantage in Perth, Western Australia: the 100 Families WA baseline report

Seivwright A and Flatau P
Perth, WA : 100 Families WA, 2019.
100 Families WA is a three-year collaborative research project that aims to identify what works to address entrenched disadvantage in families in Western Australia. This report presents findings from the first wave of surveys, which were conducted in 2018/19 with 400 clients of the partner social service agencies. The survey asked about demographics, family and household composition, income, material deprivation, social and personal connections, health status, employment status, mental health outcomes, substance use, wellbeing and quality of life, and adverse life experiences. It also included several open-ended questions: 'what would you do with a spare $100?', 'what does a good day look like for you?', 'what do you need to be safe and well?', and 'what is the one thing that would make the biggest positive change in your life?' To describe the respondents: over a quarter were single adults, over half had children in their care, and nearly a fifth had other family care responsibilities. The findings describe families facing high rates of homelessness, financial stress, food insecurity, chronic health and mental health conditions, and experience of domestic violence - highlighting how this disadvantage spans multiple domains of socioeconomic wellbeing and is deep and persistent.

'This is our life now, our new normal' : a qualitative study of the unmet needs of carers of stroke survivors.

Denham A, Wynne O, Baker A, Spratt N, Turner A, Magin P, Janssen H, English C, Loh M and Bonevski B
PLoS ONE v. 14 no. 5 2019: Article e0216682
This article explores the support needs of carers of stroke survivors, drawing on interviews with 24 carers in the Hunter region of New South Wales. The participants discussed their unmet needs and service preferences, and issues relating to social relationships and support, the adequacy of information, taking care of oneself, and accessing appropriate services. The participants were largely the female spouses of stroke victims. Many of the carers expressed feeling isolated and alone, and many reported preferences for services and interventions related to connectivity and inclusion.

Biomedical health profiles of unpaid family carers in an urban population in South Australia.

Stacey A, Gill T, Price K and Taylor A
PLoS ONE v. 14 no. 3 2019: Article e0208434
This article compares the health of carers and the general population, using data from the North West Adelaide Health Study for adults aged 40 years old and over. It investigates whether informal family carers show different biomedical profiles and whether there is an association between the caregiving role, risk factors and chronic conditions. Information collected includes personal characteristics such as income and employment, general health, stress and mental health, health risk factors such as physical activity and alcohol use, chronic conditions, blood pressure, blood pictures and Vitamin D, inflammatory biomarkers, and body mass index. The findings reveal some differences in the biomedical health profiles of carers and non-carers, and highlight the prevalence of poor health among adults called on to provide care.

Carers of older Australians

Australia. Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety
Adelaide, S. Aust. : Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, 2019.
This paper presents an overview of the role of family members and friends in providing informal and unpaid care to older people in Australia. It looks at the number and characteristics of carers, the types of care tasks provided, role of carers in supporting older people, the personal and economic impacts of caring, carer support needs, and the range of supports and services currently available. This paper has been prepared to help inform the work of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Raising the alarm: carers need care too

Butterfly Foundation
Crows Nest, NSW : Butterfly Foundation, 2019
This report looks into the experiences of carers caring for someone with an eating disorder. It presents findings from a study involving a survey of 468 carers and interviews with 13 carers, when investigated the impacts of being a carer, their experiences of accessing support, and the types of support needed. The findings highlight the long-lasting negative impacts of caring on relationships with partners and other children, mental and physical health, and finances and careers. The participants also raised the importance of connecting with other carers to feel validated and share advice. The findings will help inform the advocacy work of the Butterfly Foundation for Eating Disorders.

Entrenched disadvantage in Western Australia: health, economic and social impacts.

Seivwright A, Callis Z and Flatau P
Perth, WA : 100 Families WA, 2019.
100 Families WA is a three-year research project that aims to identify what works to address entrenched disadvantage in families in Western Australia. The first wave of surveys were conducted in 2018/19 with 400 clients of the partner agencies. This paper presents the first findings on the participants' characteristics and circumstances, and compares them with those of the general population. Topics include: health, disability, caring responsibilities, employment rate, sources of support, material deprivation, neighbourhood satisfaction, and food insecurity. Overall, the findings indicate that community service clients are experiencing significant health, economic and social impacts that act to further impede a transition from entrenched disadvantage. The project is a collaboration between community service agencies, the University of Western Australia, and the families experiencing entrenched disadvantage.

Understanding the social and emotional needs of carers: final report

Hill T and Broady T
Sydney, NSW : Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, 2019.
This rapid literature review was commissioned to help the NSW Carers Advisory Council learn more about the socio-emotional health and wellbeing of carers and how they can best be supported. It investigates the impact of caring over time and the particular concerns of young carers, older carers, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) carers, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander carers. It briefly reviews the evidence on what works to support carers' social and emotional wellbeing, including respite care, education and training, counselling, support groups, practical help in the home, physical exercise, and technological interventions. Though there is a lack of evidence on the effectiveness of interventions for carers, some broad policy principles and options can be made.

Carer wellbeing and supports: a review of the literature and directions for research

University of Technology, Sydney. Centre for Carers Research
Broadway, NSW : Centre for Carers Research, University of Technology Sydney, 2018.
This report reviews the literature on key issues concerning informal carers, focusing on the five key areas of the NSW Carers Strategy 2014-2019: employment and education, health and wellbeing, information and community awareness, carer engagement, and the evidence base. It identifies debates and issues, reviews what is known about intervention services and programs, and identifies directions for future research.

Service needs and uptake amongst children in out-of-home care and their carers

Walsh P, Eastman C, Katz I and McHugh M
Ashfield, NSW : NSW Dept. of Family and Community Services, 2018.
The report looks into the service needs of children and young people in out-of-home care and their carers in New South Wales, including use of health and behavioural services, changes over time, and barriers to service utilisation. The report draws on the first two waves of data from the Pathways of Care Longitudinal Study (POCLS) from New South Wales, supplemented with a review of the Australian and international literature on service engagement. It looks at use of specialist services such as paediatricians and speech pathologists, as well as universal services such as dentists and general practitioners, and formal and informal supports for carers. Overall, the findings indicate that the children in the POCLS study are faring relatively well, with their wellbeing improving over time and good access to services.

How big is the gap in wellbeing between marginalised and non-marginalised young people as they approach adolescence? Evidence from a national survey of 9-14 year old Australians.

Redmond G, Huynh J and Maurici V
Child Indicators Research v. 11 no. 2 Apr 2018: 459-485
This article investigates how wellbeing varies among disadvantaged young people. It compares the wellbeing of non-marginalised young people and young people from five marginalised groups: young people with disability, young carers, materially disadvantaged young people, young people from non-English speaking background, and Indigenous young people. Data is taken from the Australian Child Wellbeing Project, for 5,440 children and young people aged from 9-14 years old. The findings indicate that young carers, the materially disadvantaged, and young people with a disability are at particular risk of experiencing low wellbeing, in particular for 13-14 year olds than 9-12 year olds. However, half of the young people reporting the lowest levels of wellbeing were not in any of the marginalised groups studied here, indicating that health promotion efforts can be directed at all young people rather than targeting specific groups.
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