More than 2.6 million Australians have informal caring responsibilities for family members or friends.
It's time to recognise and compensate them for what they do.
It's Carer's Week! Find out how you can participate here.
Below, Jo talks about the complex caring needs of her son Angus who has a rare metabolic condition.
Most carers will say that caring for someone is very rewarding. However, caring can come at a cost.
According to Carers Australia:
- 35% of primary carers provide care for 40 or more hours a week and can go on for many years.
- 31% of primary carers have been caring for more than 10 years, and
- 6% have been caring for more than 25 years.
Although both men and women care for others, women in Australia continue to do most of the unpaid caring work in households. This means they are less likely to participate in the paid workforce.
It also means women have far less retirement savings and income than men. Instead of accumulating wealth throughout their life, women are likely to be accumulating poverty. Women’s Superannuation balances and payouts are almost half of those of men. In addition, just under half of retired women in Australia have no super at all, compared to 25% of men.
The women and men who are providing this care receive little or no compensation at all for this work – which can include domestic tasks, emotional support, health care, transport and financial tasks – and they are often ‘on call’ for long periods of time.
What’s worth $40 billion dollars and comes for free? The 2.5 million Australians that are working as unpaid carers.