The Use of Support Systems by Informal Caregivers. An Australian Experience
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Based on data collected from the Australian Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers in 2003, this study investigated the factors that influenced the assistance received by primary caregivers of non-institutionalised individuals aged 15 years and over with either profound or severe disabilities. An understanding of caregivers and their use of support systems will assist policy-makers in implementing strategies that ensure the viability of the community care programs by meeting the demands within the health sector as demographics change over time. This study found that the majority of primary caregivers (61%) did not receive any main source of assistance. Results from the multinominal regression revealed that caregivers less likely to receive any main source of assistance included those who were spouses of recipients, younger in age, did not participate in the labour force and resided in remote regions of Australia. Individuals caring for older aged recipients or recipients that possessed a severe rather than profound disability were also less likely to receive any main source of assistance. Caregivers of recipients with either a physical or mental main disabling condition tended to seek informal and formal assistance, respectively. It is interesting to note that, after controlling for other variables, the gender of the caregiver did not impact on the type of assistance received.
Australian Journal of Primary Health
Copyright 2008 La Trobe University. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal website for access to the definitive, published version.