Ageing Parent Carers - Issues Paper
10 January 2005 at 12:01 pm
The Carers Coalition has developed what they describe as a breakthrough Issues Paper which identifies the key issues for ageing parent carers and how to best utilise Government funding committed in the 2004 Budget.
The Carers Coalition says a carer is a person who cares for a friend or family member who has a disability, is frail aged, or has a long-term or mental illness.
There are a large number of carers aged 65 or over, with a significant number over 80 years, who often are parents caring for a younger person. Most often women, these Ageing Parent Carers are continuing to grow in numbers and face issues regarding their frailty and mortality.
The Carers Coalition says the question is “Who will care when the carer is gone?”
Kathy Wood, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Carers New South Wales says in Australia, carers and the person being supported now have greater longevity than ever before. This in turn increases the length of caring relationships.
Wood says Ageing Parent Carers save the community millions of dollars each year. Paid, formal care is a substitute yet the cost is enormous. The needs of Ageing Parent Carers need to be better met.
The Carers Coalition is a community umbrella group consisting of over fifty organisations with a commitment to supporting, recognising and valuing carers. The objectives of the Carers Coalition are policy development work, information exchange and advocacy.
An Issues Paper developed by the Carers Coalition indicates that the key issues for Ageing Parent Carers are:
· Physical and emotional health
· Lack of participation in community and social isolation
· Lack of access to appropriate services
· Financial limitations and hardship
· Planning for the future
· Inadequate accommodation
In July 2004, the Carers Coalition held a workshop attended by more than fifty representatives consisting of Coalition members, care support officers, Government agencies, Universities, and NSW Parliament.
The workshop identified three over-arching themes to address issues for Ageing Parent Carers:
2. Service System Responsiveness
a. Formal recognition
b. Better linkages between disability and aged care services
c. Training and education for staff
d. Case management and care packaging models
3. Planning for future needs
Six key strategies were identified to progress Ageing Parent Carers issues including raising community awareness of Ageing Parent Carer’s needs, research and development of new models of support, transitional care, housing, lifecycle modelling, and capacity building.
Wood says that in 2005 the Carers Coalition aims to progress these key strategies, acting as a catalyst to facilitate development of choices available for Ageing Parent Carers. This in turn will enable carers to approach the present and future with increased confidence and address their unique issues.
If you would like an electronic copy of the Issues Paper just send an email with the words ‘Carers Coalition Issues Paper’ in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org.