Carer Survey

Every two years Carers NSW conducts a statewide survey of carers to better understand what carers in NSW want and need.

Carers NSW 2018 Carer Survey: Summary Report

On day two of the Carers NSW 2018 Biennial Conference, 'Caring: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow', Friday 12 October 2018, Carers NSW CEO Elena Katrakis officially launched the summary report of the Carers NSW 2018 Carer Survey. Read the media release here.

The 2018 Carer Survey built on the success of the 2016 Carer Survey in order to collect data regarding carers’ lived experiences across a range of domains. More than 1,800 carers of diverse circumstances and backgrounds responded to the survey.

The Carers NSW 2018 Carer Survey: Summary report contains key insights about the carer population in New South Wales and highlights the successes and challenges carers are experiencing as they engage with the service system and with paid employment.

Key findings from the Carers NSW 2018 Carer Survey include:

  • Carers tended to be included in decision making about disability and aged care services for the people they cared for, but were much less likely to be asked about their own needs
  • Many carers are spending more time organising support for the people they care for than they were two years ago
  • Respondents reported lower wellbeing than in previous Carers NSW Carer Surveys, and higher levels of psychological distress than the average carer in New South Wales
  • More three quarters of carers with a long-term illness or disability said that their caring responsibilities had contributed to their condition
  • Only one in four carers felt their caring role was recognised by their community
  • One in three wanted more access to respite, counselling or carer support groups
  • Forty per cent reported difficulty meeting their necessary living expenses

Results from the Carers NSW 2018 Carer Survey will continue to be analysed and disseminated, with subsequent publications to be made available on the Carers NSW website. 

About the Carers NSW Carer Survey

The biennial Carers NSW Carer Survey collects information about carers in NSW to provide an evidence base that informs the organisation’s direction, support, and systemic advocacy for all carers across NSW.

The Carer Survey is a great way for carers to provide feedback about what is and isn’t working in their caring role, and in the various service systems they access. This information helps Carers NSW advocate for better support for carers across NSW.

The 2018 Carer Survey was conducted between May and July 2018 built on the strengths of our previous surveys, as we aim to improve our understanding of the issues that impact carers on a daily basis. It focused on:

  • Experiences of aged care, disability, carer support and health services 
  • Carer health and wellbeing
  • Involvement in paid work
  • Characteristics of carers and the people they care for

A summary of findings will be released in October 2018. Key findings will also be presented at the Carers NSW Biennial Conference 2018.

Previous Carer Surveys

Since 2002, Carers NSW has undertaken periodic surveys of carers across NSW to inform different aspects of the organisation’s work. 

40 years of carer surveys in NSW

In December 1974, the NSW Council on the Ageing conducted the first survey in to the needs of carers in NSW. The resulting report, Dedication, was published in 1976 and led to the establishment of a Carers Committee, marking the beginnings of Carers NSW. This report tracks carer research in NSW since this seminal study.

Carers NSW 2016 Carer Survey

Over 2,000 completed responses were received, making this the largest survey we have ever conducted. Over 80% of respondents were female and almost half were aged between 45 and 64 years. More than one quarter of carers had been in their role for more than 20 years, and almost half reported providing more than 70 hours of care per week.

Carers NSW 2014 Carer Survey

In 2014 the Carer Survey received over 2,000 responses and was the first Carers NSW survey to seek and receive University Human Research Ethics approval and to be developed under the guidance of an expert Survey Reference Committee, made up of leading carer researchers. 

Earlier Carer Surveys

Earlier Carer Surveys conducted by Carers NSW had more of a focus on our membership, were less extensive and were not developed under the advice of an expert committee. However, they still provide a valuable overview of current issues for carers



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Carers NSW acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land, Elders past and present and all Aboriginal people.