2020 National carers survey: summary report

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Caregivers Disability Australia

In 2020, the Carers NSW Carer Survey was conducted nationally for the first time, with the support of the National Carer Network.

This report provides an overview of high-level national findings from the survey regarding caring relationships, carers’ experiences accessing services, carer health and wellbeing, and carer employment. Some state and territory comparisons are highlighted throughout to indicate national variation, with further comparative analysis between the states and territories and between various cohorts of carers to be completed in future.

Key findings:

  • Survey respondents were most likely to be caring for their child (including adult children), or caring for their partner. One in four respondents cared for more than one person.
  • The most common group of people being cared for by survey respondents were people with physical disability, followed by people with a chronic condition and people living with a mental illness.
  • Nearly half of the carers who responded were experiencing high or very high psychological distress, and one in three felt highly socially isolated, which may have been influenced by the COVID-19 lockdowns in place in many states and territories at the time.
  • One in three respondents said they never get time out from their caring responsibilities, with only around half having enough time to keep on top of other responsibilities.
  • Large numbers of carers reported not being asked about their own needs when accessing disability, aged care, health and mental health services with or on behalf of the person they cared for.
  • Up to one in three carers had found it difficult to get information about, and to organise, services to support the person they care for.
  • One in four carers reported spending more money than they made in the past 12 months.
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