Thursday 26 July, 1330 – 1350
There are approximately 620,000 people over the age of 65 in Australia who care for someone who has a disability, mental illness, chronic illness or who is frail aged. Many of these carers are ageing parents caring for an adult son or daughter. Ageing parent carers often experience significant anxiety about what will happen to their son or daughter when they pass away or lose the physical or cognitive capacity to care. However, the long-term impacts of reduced income, limited educational opportunities and social isolation resulting from decades of full-time care can make succession planning challenging. In turn, many adult siblings feel unprepared for the impact of added caring responsibilities when their parent is no longer the primary carer. Although these concerns make succession planning and will-making particularly pertinent to the ageing carer cohort, many ageing parent carers do not have adequate plans in place.
This presentation draws on data from a survey of carers across New South Wales, a smaller survey of adult siblings and nine years of service delivery experience as part of a state-funded support coordination program targeting ageing parent carers to identify key challenges and opportunities for this cohort. It explores the experiences, anxieties and expectations of ageing parent carers and adult siblings in the current policy environment, and makes a case for nuanced, family-centred succession planning.