Census shows six thousand people providing unpaid care to family and friends in Mayo

The number of people acting as unpaid carers for a friend or family member in Mayo is higher than the national average, it was revealed this week.

According to the latest results from last year's Census issued by the Central Statistics Office, 4.7 per cent of the population in Mayo fulfil the role of a carer to a friend of family member, compared to 4.1 per cent nationally and 4.4 per cent in Connacht.

The Census found that 6,129 people who stated that they “provided regular unpaid personal help for a friend or family member with a long-term illness, health problem, or disability” comprised 4.7 per cent of the county’s population in April 2016. This was a decrease of 429 people (6.5 per cent ) on 2011.

Of the carers in the county, 3,670 were female (59.9 per cent ), and 2,459 were male (40.1 per cent ).

There were also 105 carers aged under 15 years, compared with 146 in 2011. These carers provided 212,147 hours of care per week, an average of 38.7 hours per carer per week.

The total amount of weekly care hours was a decrease of 36,568 hours (14.7 per cent ) on 2011.

Not all carers indicated the number of care hours provided, the weekly and hourly figures quoted above relate to those who did ).

The latest release also gave covered the issue of disability in the county, and in the previous census in 2011, the 17,710 people with at least one disability comprised 13.6 per cent of Mayo’s population.

In Census 2016, the 17,977 people with at least one disability made up 13.8 per cent of the county’s population, compared with 13.5 per cent at national level.

Of these, 8,769 (48.8 per cent ) were male and 9,208 (51.2 per cent ) were female.

In Mayo, 8,379 people indicated that they had “a difficulty with pain, breathing, or any other chronic illness or condition”, while 1,571 indicated they had blindness or a serious visual impairment and 3,124 had deafness or a serious hearing impairment.

When it came to general health, the majority of those living in Mayo stated that their health was either very good (73,137 people, 56. per cent ) or good (39,414 people, 30.2 per cent ), compared with 55.7 per cent (very good ), and 30.8 per cent (good ) in 2011. The 1.8 per cent of the Mayo population 2,303 people who stated that their health was bad/very bad was above the percentage at national level of 1.6 per cent and a 4.8 per cent decrease on the 2,418 who stated that their health was bad/very bad in 2011.

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