Who are the carers ; what are their needs?
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The rates of chronic illness in all industrial societies are very high. Chronic conditions increase in incidence with age. The Australian Bureau of Statistics survey identified the extent of chronicity in Australia, classifying any person aged 65 or more who has an activity limitation. Activity limitations mean that people with chronic conditions need some form of social and medical support. It is not known how many people with activity limitations live in institutional care, how many live alone, or how many live with relatives. The important policy questions are to try to determine what sort of support mechanisms are feasible to ensure that quality of life is enhanced and that adequate care is made available. There has been a worldwide emphasis on family policy and that families ought themselves to take care of their dependent elderly. It is important to ensure that families in a caring situation are provided with adequate support.
Notes for a speech presented in Sydney, 10th March 1982 by Adam Graycar, Social Welfare Research Centre, University of New South Wales. Made available under the Creative Commons BY 4.0 (CC BY) Attribution license. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/