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A RECENT “Carers ACT” survey shows that the NDIS has little impact on carers in the ACT.
General manager carer and community services at Carers ACT, Lisa Kelly says an expected NDIS outcome was carers would have more time to pursue work, education and other activities because of reduced time they spent caring.
“Carers ACT is concerned that our initial analysis indicated that without an adequate level of good and consistent replacement care built into an individual’s NDIS package the capacity of carers to continue to care is reduced, especially as carers age and have poorer health,” says Kelly.
“While 49 per cent of carers who responded to the survey felt the level of the support for the NDIS participant had increased, 57 per cent didn’t feel an individual’s NDIS support provided them with a break from caring, 29 per cent felt it provided them with a break and 14 per cent weren’t sure.”
The survey discovered that 35 per cent of carers felt there was no change to support those seeking new employment or those already struggling with work commitments, 27 per cent of carers stated that employment issues have become worse and 11 per cent said the NDIS has made it easier.
In terms of education, 27 per cent of carers studying or wanting to study found it harder, 18 per cent said it was easier and the majority, 55 per cent said it was not relevant.
Kelly says: “More analysis of how the impact of caring has changed under the NDIS is needed, particularly the economic benefits to the ACT workforce of carers of people with disability entering or increasing their hours of work due to the implementation of the NDIS.
“This is unlikely to occur unless there is more clarity about how to support carers through consistent replacement care, flexible employment and appropriate training.”
The largest group of people being cared for by carers respondents were young children, and the average age of the care recipient was 27 years, the youngest age was four years and the oldest age was 65 years.
Care recipients either had a physical or psychosocial disability and some had more than one type of disability.