The tyranny of distance? Carers in regional and remote areas of Australia

The tyranny of distance? Carers in regional and remote areas of Australia Report

  • Author(s): Ben Edwards, Matthew Gray, Jennifer Baxter, Boyd Hunter
  • Published: 2009
  • Publisher: Carers Australia and Australian Institute of Family Studies

Abstract: Unpaid care provided by family and friends is invaluable. It is a vital part of a civilised and caring society and can be the social glue that binds our communities together. In outer regional and remote areas an increasingly ageing population, combined with a lack of services to care for people with a disability, long-term illness or who are frail means that the care provided by family and friends is even more significant. Despite this, little is known about their circumstances and the particular challenges carers in these areas experience. In this report, we begin to fill this gap by: - documenting the geographic spread of carers and identifying the outer regional and remote areas that have the highest concentrations of carers; - examining the ability of carers to access services and how this varies according to geographic remoteness; - documenting the social, health and economic wellbeing of carers according to geographic remoteness; and investigating the impact of drought on carers. Key findings concerning the geographic spread of carers are as follows: - The largest numbers of carers in inner regional and outer regional areas resided in the most populous states—New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. - Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory were the states with the most carers living in remote areas. - When we look at the proportion of the total population in a particular area who are carers, a different picture emerges. There were large proportions of carers living in remote areas in the Northern Territory and very remote areas of Western Australia. - Carers were more likely to be Indigenous in remote and regional Australia—largely as a result of the distinctive geographic distribution of the Indigenous population and the high level of caring required for many in that most disadvantaged sector of Australian society. - The age structure of the carer population in these very remote areas was also much younger than other regions of Australia, with far more carers aged 24 years or less and fewer aged 65 years and over. Again, the large numbers of Indigenous people living in very remote areas largely explains the differences in the age structure of the carer population in very remote areas.

Notes: ISBN 978-1-921414-15-2

Cite this document

Suggested Citation
Ben Edwards, Matthew Gray, Jennifer Baxter, Boyd Hunter, 2009, The tyranny of distance? Carers in regional and remote areas of Australia, Report, viewed 17 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=3238.

Endnote Mendeley Zotero Export Google Scholar

Share this page

Search again