Family and friends who provide informal and unpaid care to older Australians are critical to the sustainability of the aged care system, and as the population in Australia continues to age, the reliance on informal carers is set to increase.
Background Paper 6: Carers of older Australians, released by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety today, explores the roles, challenges, and needs, of informal carers of older Australians. It also addresses services and supports to assist carers in their caring role.
The paper states that increasingly, older people in Australia are choosing to remain living in their own homes for as long as possible. A consequence of this has been an increasing reliance on family and friends to supplement formal home support services.
“Given the large number of family and friends providing care to people over the age of 65, it is clear that the replacement value of these services for the aged care system would be significant, critically affecting its current sustainability,” the paper notes.