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Supporting disabled people: 2013

Purpose

Supporting disabled people: 2013 presents findings on support received by disabled people in some aspects of their personal lives, and is based on data from the 2013 Household Disability Survey (2013 HDS).

This article examines the types of support that disabled people received and who provided that support. The 2013 HDS included questions about a range of personal and domestic tasks for which disabled people might receive help. This article also explores unmet need for help with these tasks, along with differences by age, sex, and impairment type where possible.

Please note this article excludes the findings from the Disability Survey of Residential Facilities (DSRF).

About the 2013 Household Disability Survey

The survey used a comprehensive measure of disability that asked respondents whether they had difficulty with a wide range of daily activities. The 2013 HDS found that 23 percent of all people living in private dwellings were disabled. Men and women were equally likely to be disabled, but women were more likely to experience physical impairment and men hearing impairment. For children (those aged under 15 years), boys (at 13 percent) were more likely to be disabled than girls (8 percent). Disability was strongly related to age. People aged 65 years or older had a disability rate of 56 percent compared with 28 percent for those aged 45 to 64 years, 16 percent for those aged 15 to 44 years, and 11 percent for those under 15 years old.

Summary of key points

The 2013 Household Disability Survey’s findings on support received by disabled people showed:

  • 33 percent of disabled adults in private households received regular assistance with a range of personal or domestic tasks.
  • Disabled people aged 65 years or over were more likely to receive support than younger disabled adults.
  • The most commonly received type of support was with heavy work around the home and garden.
  • Adults with intellectual impairments were more likely than adults with other impairment types to receive some support with the tasks covered by the survey.
  • Family members who disabled people lived with were most likely to be the providers of support.
  • Organisations were also important providers of support, particularly for older people.
  • 10 percent of disabled adults reported having unmet need for assistance with the tasks covered by the survey.
  • Disabled women reported unmet need for support more often than disabled men.
  • 12 percent of disabled children received extra help with personal care at least once a month because of their impairment.
  • For 10 percent of disabled children, their caregiver reported an unmet need for help around the house because of the child’s impairment.

See also:

One-third of disabled adults are regularly supported by others

One-third of disabled adults living in private households (309,000 people aged 15 years and over) reported that they, or their household, received support of some kind at least once a month because of their impairment.

While we are all supported in some way by others, ‘support’ in this article refers specifically to the range of assistance, both personal and domestic, that the 2013 HDS asked about. This support included help with cooking, shopping, and housework; heavy tasks like cleaning windows and mowing lawns; personal finances, filling in forms, decision-making, or communicating with others (such as at medical visits) – categorised as ‘other help’; and personal care including help with washing, dressing, and toileting. The support was needed because of a condition or health problem.

Taking all types of support together, disabled women were more likely than disabled men to receive support – 39 percent of women and 27 percent of men reported receiving support of some kind. This difference was not due to the typically older age structure of the female population – disabled women were more likely than disabled men to receive support across all age groups.

Disabled people aged 65 years or over were more likely to receive support (47 percent) than younger adults (26 percent).

Figure 1

Image, Disabled adults receiving support, by support type and age group, 2013.

Figure 1 shows that help with heavy work around their property, such as mowing lawns and washing windows, was the most common type of support received by disabled adults – 21 percent reported that they received help with this type of support. For disabled people aged 65 years and over, 32 percent received help of this kind. The next most common form of support was for domestic housework, reported by 15 percent of all disabled adults and 24 percent of disabled people aged 65 years and over.

For all disabled adults, 14 percent were assisted with aspects of their personal finances and banking, filling in forms, decision-making, or communicating with others (such as at medical visits). This type of support is categorised under ‘other help’ in figure 1. There is little evidence of an age difference for this type of support.

Assistance with personal care, which could be washing, dressing and/or toileting, was the type of help that disabled adults reported least. Just 4 percent reported that they received help with this aspect of their lives.

One in five receiving support daily get carer support

Respite and carer support are types of alternative care that allow the person who usually helps a disabled adult to have a break. For disabled adults who were getting at least one type of support daily, 19 percent reported that they had had respite or carer support in the last 12 months. Twelve percent reported that they needed respite or carer support at some time in the last 12 months but were unable to get it. For people who received help weekly, the proportion who had had respite or carer support in the last 12 months was 14 percent, and 8 percent reported that they needed this alternative care but could not get it.

Help every day with personal care and cooking

While the number of disabled adults who received help with personal care was small, 68 percent of those who did received help daily. Support with preparing meals was also received frequently – 77 percent of those who received this type of help reported that they had help daily with their meals.

The frequency of support received by disabled adults reflects the nature of the task for which support was being received. Help with shopping and housework were most often received weekly and support with heavy work less often (by those disabled adults who received it). This pattern reflects the frequency with which people would usually carry out these tasks for themselves.

Figure 2

Image, Frequency of support received by disabled adults receiving that type of support, by support type, 2013.

Adults with intellectual impairments most likely to receive regular help from others

Adults with intellectual impairments were more likely than adults with other impairment types to receive some support with the tasks covered by the survey. Note that the intellectual impairment rate for adults is low (2 percent) while the physical impairment rate is the highest (14 percent). The bottom row of table 1 shows the percentage of all adults with each impairment type. Disabled people may have more than one type of impairment.

Table 1 

Disabled adults in households receiving help
By impairment type
2013
 
Help type  Impairment type 
Sensory  Physical  Intellectual  Psychological  Other impairment(1)  All disabled adults 
Percentage of disabled adults 
Cooking  10  13  32  17  18 
Shopping  14  17  31  17  19  12 
Housework  16  21  32  19  22  15 
Heavy work  22  30  31  22  25  21 
Personal care  18 
Other help(2)  15  16  55  29  29  14 
Percentage of adults 
Impairment rate  11  14  23 

1. Includes difficulties with speaking, learning, and memory.

2. Includes assistance with aspects of personal finances and banking, filling in forms, decision-making, or communicating with others (such as at medical visits).

Source: Stats NZ

Most support comes from family members living in the same house

The most-common provider of support for disabled adults was provided by a family member they live with. For about one-fifth (22 percent) of disabled adults, a family member living in the same house provided at least one type of support and for 18 percent a family member living in the same house was the main provider of support (the one who provided the most support).

Fifteen percent of disabled adults received some support from a care organisation and for 8 percent an organisation was their main provider of support. Friends and neighbours (non-family who don’t live in the same house) are more likely to provide some form of support than flatmates (non-family who live in the same house).

Figure 3

Image, Providers of support for disabled adults, by amount of support, 2013.

While family members they live with are an important source of support for older disabled people, they are more likely than younger adults to rely on organisations (such as the district health board) for help with the activities covered. Figure 4 shows the main person providing support to a disabled adult for people aged 65 years and over, adults under 65 years, and all adults combined.

Figure 4

Image, Main provider of support for disabled adults, by age group, 2013.  

Organisations are important providers of help with housework and personal care

For domestic housework and personal care, organisations are as important as family members living in the same house when it comes to providing support. Family living in the same house are far more likely than others to help disabled people with cooking and shopping.

Figure 5

Image, Providers of support for disabled adults receiving that type of support, by support type, 2013.  

Ten percent of disabled adults need more help than they get

Having unmet need for some form of assistance in the past 12 months was reported by about 89,000 disabled adults – 10 percent of all disabled adults.

An unmet need for help might arise where some assistance was being provided but it was not enough or where the disabled person was not getting any help at all with an aspect of their life.

Figure 6 shows the percentage of disabled adults who reported unmet need for each type of support covered, by sex. For all support types, women reported unmet need more often than men.

Figure 6

Image, Disabled adults with unmet need for support, by support type and sex, 2013.  

Extra help needed in households with disabled children

In the 2013 HDS, 85 percent of disabled children had a female caregiver, and 71 percent had a caregiver aged 25 to 44 years. For 7 percent of disabled children, caregivers reported having an unmet need for help with the personal care of the disabled child they cared for. 

Twelve percent of disabled children received extra help with personal care at least once a month. For all children the amount of help they need to manage personal care tasks depends on age and development. The survey asked about support that was over and above what a child would usually get at their age and that was needed because of a condition or health problem.

The percentage of children who received extra help with personal care differed a lot by impairment type. Children with physical impairments were the most likely to receive extra help while those with sensory impairments were the least likely. The survey does not indicate any differences between boys and girls in the proportion receiving extra help with personal care.

Figure 7

Image, Disabled children receiving extra help with personal care, by impairment type, 2013.  

For children who received extra help with personal care, 82 percent received this help on a daily basis.

For one-third (34 percent) of children who received extra help because of their impairment, some help was provided by an organisation (such as the district health board) or private business (such as a care service). A similar proportion (35 percent) received some extra help from a person who did not live in the same house as them but was not associated with an organisation or private business.

A small proportion of disabled children had caregivers who reported that they received help with domestic tasks because of the child’s condition or health problem. Just 2 percent reported getting this type of support; however, 10 percent reported having an unmet need for such support.

See More support needed for disabled people – media release.

For media enquiries, contact: James Weir, Wellington 021 285 9191, info@stats.govt.nz

For technical enquiries, contact: Michelle Griffin, Wellington 04 931 4600, info@stats.govt.nz

Citation

Stats NZ (2017). Supporting disabled people: 2013. Retrieved from www.stats.govt.nz.

ISBN 978-1-98-852823-6 (online)
Published 8 August 2017

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