Australian Veterans and War Widows – Your lives, your needs
Findings from the 2006 Survey of Veterans, War Widows and their Carers
This study of the health and wellbeing of veterans and war widow(er)s has found that they are generally fit and healthy with active social lives despite most being over 75 with chronic conditions that limit their mobility and communication.
The Your Lives, Your Needs 2006 survey—the fifth time the survey has been undertaken—involved more than 2,000 veterans and war widows(er)s and 300 of their carers. For the first time it included younger veterans, surveying 400 covered by the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.
The survey had a broad scope, covering many aspects of veterans’ health and wellness, including lifestyle choices, levels of independence, health status and the use of community services.
More than half of the veterans and war widows reported that they had received some kind of community service in the previous six months. Vision impairment was the most commonly reported health condition. About 300 of the interviewees, or one in seven, reported that they had a carer. Carers were more likely to assist older veterans and war widows take medicine and dress their wounds.
The SRCA clients reported generally less satisfactory social activity, citing poor health as the major barrier. Mobility was a major issue for this group. Many had young children and this group was twice as likely to have a carer than the older veteran group. The carer’s main role was to do the household shopping.
A booklet of the Your Lives, Your Needs 2006 survey results has been distributed to participants and veterans’ stakeholders groups.