Almost 150 children are acting as carers in Co Mayo according to Census 2011 figures. The census also reveals that 17,710 persons in Co Mayo – 13.6 percent of the county’s population – had a disability in April 2011. This is compares with 13 percent of the population for the State as a whole.
The Central Statistics Office’s latest publication, ‘Profile 8 Our Bill of Health – Health, Disability and Carers in Ireland’, presents a profile of the health of the Irish population, focusing in detail on disability and on carers who provide unpaid assistance for a friend or family member with a long-term illness, health problem or disability.
The census showed that a total of 6,558 persons or five percent of the total population of Mayo were providing unpaid assistance to others in April 2011. Of these carers, 3,893 (59.4 percent) were women and 2,665 (40.6 percent) were men.
These carers provided a total of 248,715 hours of care per week.
For the first time, data on children who act as carers were gathered. The results show that 146 children aged under 15 years were engaged in providing care to others, accounting for 2.2 percent per cent of all carers in the county.
For the first time, respondents were asked to rate their general health in one of five categories from very good to very bad. Self-perceived health provides a well validated and widely used measure of actual health, despite its subjective nature.
Overall, 55.7 percent of people in Co Mayo had very good health with a further 30.8 percent indicated that their health was good. Just 2,418 people (1.9 percent) indicated that they had bad or very bad health.
The report also examines disability, looking in detail at the people with a disability from the point of view of family status, living arrangements, education, work and the different type of disabilities that affect people.
Of the 17,710 people with a disability in Mayo, 8,688 (49.1 percent) were male while 9,022 (50.9 percent) were female.
The most common disability overall was a difficulty with basic physical activities, which was experienced by 47.8 percent of disabled people in the county. This was followed by a difficulty with pain, breathing or other chronic illness or condition, experienced by 45 percent. Both disabilities were strongly age-related.
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