The demands on primary carers of older people have been widely examined and reported and are generally acknowledged to be very high. This has resulted in the development of community respite services specifically focused on supporting carers in their caring role. Despite such developments, the uptake by carers has not met expectations with a number of community service providers experiencing gross under-utilisation of their in-home respite services. This paper presents the findings of a study that critically examined why carers of frail older people in South East Queensland were not utilising available direct respite options. Focus groups provided a forum for carers not currently using respite services to express their viewpoints and opinions on the ability, or otherwise, of currently available respite services to meet their needs. Discussion of the findings serves to articulate limiting and motivating factors that influence respite service utilisation for carers supporting older people in the community.

Presented at Conferences

  • Geriaction National Conference (2007)