What is it about?

In this paper we present basic descriptive statistical findings about how much time older adults spend on looking after their own health and the health of someone they provide informal care for. Most informal carers in this study themselves had chronic illnesses, some of which took a lot of time to manage. Chronic illnesses associated with the highest amount of time to manage were chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and diabetes. So if informal carers have and/or cared for someone with one of these illnesses they could be facing a lot of time spent on managing health.

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Why is it important?

"Waste your money and you're only out of money. Waste your time and you've lost part of your life." - Michael LeBeouf Time is a precious commodity. Some of us are spending lots of our time on health-related activities, whether we want to or not.


The findings in this paper gave me a new-found respect for informal carers - especially those who themselves have chronic illnesses. They really are our unsung heroes.

Dr Tanisha Jowsey
University of Auckland

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Time to care? Health of informal older carers and time spent on health related activities: an Australian survey, BMC Public Health, April 2013, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-374.
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