Disability Survey (4) People in Residential Care
New Zealand Disability Survey
People in Residential Care
An estimated 27,300 disabled adults were living in residential care in 2001; they comprised 4 percent of all disabled adults in New Zealand. Ninety-seven percent of adults living in residential care had a disability. The large majority of adults with disabilities in residential care were aged 65 and over. Women comprised nearly 70 percent of all disabled adults in residential care. Physical disabilities were the most common type of disability for adults in residential care. Approximately 90 percent of adults in residential care reported using some type of special equipment.
1. What are the characteristics of disabled people in residential care?
An estimated 27,300 adults with disabilities were living in residential care in 2001. This means 97 percent of adults living in residential care had a disability, compared with 22 percent of adults living in households. Although the disability rate was much higher in residential facilities, only 4 percent of the disabled adult population of New Zealand were living in residential facilities, the remaining 96 percent were living in households. The majority (92 percent) of disabled adults in residential care were aged 65 years and over. By comparison, 34 percent of disabled adults in households were aged 65 years and over. Most disabled occupants of residential facilities (approximately 19,100 or 70 percent) were living in rest homes. A further 6,800 (25 percent) were living in private hospitals. The remaining 1,400 (5 percent) were living in other types of facilities, such as mental health units and physical disability units. Women comprised nearly 70 percent of all disabled adults in residential care. This is because women live longer than men, and older people account for the majority of people with disabilities in residential facilities. The likelihood of living in residential care increases with age. Less than 1 percent of disabled women and men aged between 15 and 64 years were living in residential care. However, 13 percent of disabled women and 7 percent of disabled men aged 65 and over were living in a residential facility of one kind or another. Mäori accounted for less than 3 percent of all disabled adults living in residential facilities. This is partly because Mäori are highly concentrated in the younger age groups and the majority (92 percent) of disabled people in residential facilities were aged 65 and over. In 2001, approximately 4 percent of New Zealanders aged 65 years and above were of Mäori ethnicity (2001 Census of Population and Dwellings).
2. What types of disabilities do people living in residential care have?
Adults living in residential care were more likely to have multiple disabilities than those living in households. Ninety-six percent of disabled people living in residential facilities reported having more than one disability, compared with 59 percent of disabled people living in households. Physical disabilities were the most common type reported by disabled adults in residential care, affecting 95 percent (nearly 26,000). Sixty-eight percent (18,500) had 'other' disabilities. Speaking, learning and remembering disabilities were combined into the 'other' disability category. They were followed by sensory disabilities (61 percent or 16,600), and psychiatric or psychological disabilities (35 percent or approximately 10,000). Some 13 percent of disabled adults living in residential facilities (3,500) reported intellectual disabilities. The leading cause of disability was a disease or illness, reported by 68 percent of disabled adults in residential facilities. Other common causes were the ageing process (37 percent) and an accident or injury (23 percent).
3. How are their lives affected?
Almost 25,000 disabled adults in residential care (90 percent) reported that they used some type of special equipment relating to their disability. The most common type of special equipment used was a shower stool, reported by 19,100 disabled adults in residential care (70 percent). Walking frames, incontinence products and wheelchairs (manual or motorised) were other common types of special equipment used by adults in residential care. Approximately 11,000 adults in residential care (close to 40 percent) reported using each of these types of equipment (some of these people used more than one type). Ninety-seven percent of disabled adults in residential care (26,400) reported receiving help with at least one everyday activity such as shopping or personal care. One percent of adults in residential facilities were mildly affected by their disabilities. A further 16 percent were moderately affected and the remaining 83 percent were severely limited. Severity is defined by the level of assistance required.
This is the fourth in a series of nine snapshots presenting a selection of findings from the 2001 New Zealand Disability Survey. The survey provides an overview of disability in New Zealand. It covers people living in households and residential care facilities. The results are comparable with those from the 1996–1997 New Zealand Disability Survey. The next snapshot, 'New Zealand Disability Survey Snapshot 5: Children', will be published on 17 June 2002. A technical report containing information about how the survey was conducted, and tables from the 1996–1997 and 2001 New Zealand Disability Surveys, was published on 30 May 2002. This report is available free on the Statistics New Zealand website: www.stats.govt.nz. Brian Pink