Ageing parent carers of people with a disability report

The ageing of the Australian population is expected to increase the proportion of the population requiring care as a result of a disability or frail old age. Within general concerns about an increasingly ageing population, an issue that has received much less attention is that of the number of older parent carers of a son or daughter with a disability will also increase in coming decades. As parent carers get older, their anxiety increases about who will care for their adult child. Many people with a disability are equally concerned about what will happen to them and who will support them when their parents die.

Ageing parent carers of people with a disability report

The ageing of the Australian population is expected to increase the proportion of the population requiring care as a result of a disability or frail old age. Within general concerns about an increasingly ageing population, an issue that has received much less attention is that of the number of older parent carers of a son or daughter with a disability will also increase in coming decades. As parent carers get older, their anxiety increases about who will care for their adult child. Many people with a disability are equally concerned about what will happen to them and who will support them when their parents die.

Parliamentary Secretary for Families and Community Services Mrs Andrea Coote launched the report at Carers Victoria on Tuesday 12 March. Twenty nine people participated in the launch, including ageing parent carers, a DHS staff person and writers of the report from the Australian Institute for Family Studies.

The report brings together data to highlight the numbers and situation of aging parent carers of people (usually sons and daughters) with a lifelong disability.

Mrs Coote raised the work the government has been doing in the sector, the Carers Recognition Act and spoke glowingly about the report and how it can contribute to discussions on the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

A highlight of the morning was a talk given by Lynn Loft, a carer of an adult son with a disability, who eloquently and movingly expressed her concerns about the lack of planning and provision for this largely invisible and unrecognised cohort of carers and their families.

The policy team outlined a possible way forward that would cater for the planning, housing and support for a large number of aging caring families, in the hope that this would be taken up by government. It was an open, informative and touching event that left everyone with the clear understanding there is still much work to be done in an area that is complex and often heart wrenching.

The launch concluded with a morning tea.

 

Carers Victoria acknowledges the traditional owners of this land and pays respect to elders both past and present.

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