4430.0.10.001 - Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: First Results, 2015  
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GLOSSARY

Activity

An activity comprises one or more tasks. In this survey, tasks have been grouped into the following ten activities:

        • cognition or emotion
        • communication
        • health care
        • household chores
        • meal preparation
        • mobility
        • property maintenance
        • reading or writing
        • self-care
        • transport.

Age

The age of a person on their last birthday.

Age standardised disability rate

An age standardised rate is calculated to remove the effects of different age structures when comparing populations over time. A standard age composition is used, in this case the age composition of the estimated resident population of Australia at 30 June 2001. An age standardised rate is that which would have prevailed if the actual population had the standard age composition. Age-specific disability rates are multiplied by the standard population for each age group. The results are added and the sum calculated as a percentage of the standard population total to give the age standardised percentage rate.

Assistance

Assistance includes help that is being received, as well as help that may be needed, but not being received, in common activities of daily life such as showering or dressing, moving around, housework and gardening, or using transport. The help or assistance must be because of the person's disability, long-term health condition or old age.

Avoided situations

Not going or staying away from people or places because of one's disability. Includes all persons with disability, whether they believed they had been discriminated against or not.

Cared-accommodation


Refers to accommodation within establishments, such as hospitals, nursing homes, aged care hostels, cared components of retirement villages, and other 'homes', such as group homes for people with disability. The accommodation must include all meals for its occupants and provide 24-hour access to assistance for personal and/or medical needs. To be included in this survey a person must have been a resident, or expected to be a resident, of the cared-accommodation establishment for three months or more.

Cognitive/emotional

This activity comprises the following tasks:
        • making friendships, maintaining relationships, or interacting with others
        • coping with feelings or emotions
        • decision making or thinking through problems
        • managing own behaviour.

Cognitive or emotional activity was termed 'guidance' in earlier SDAC surveys.

Communication

This activity comprises the following tasks:
        • understanding family or friends
        • being understood by family or friends
        • understanding strangers
        • being understood by strangers.

Core activities

Core activities are communication, mobility and self-care.

Core activity limitation


Four levels of core activity limitation are determined based on whether a person needs help, has difficulty, or uses aids or equipment with any of the core activities (mobility, self-care and communication). A person's overall level of core activity limitation is determined by their highest level of limitation in these activities.

The four levels of limitation are:
        • profound - the person is unable to do, or always needs help with, a core activity task.
        • severe - the person:
                • sometimes needs help with a core activity task, and/or
                • has difficulty understanding or being understood by family or friends, or
                • can communicate more easily using sign language or other non-spoken forms of communication.
        • moderate - the person needs no help, but has difficulty with a core activity task.
        • mild - the person needs no help and has no difficulty with any of the core activity tasks, but:
                • uses aids or equipment, or has one or more of the following limitations
                • cannot easily walk 200 metres
                • cannot walk up and down stairs without a handrail
                • cannot easily bend to pick up an object from the floor
                • cannot use public transport
                • can use public transport, but needs help or supervision
                • needs no help or supervision, but has difficulty using public transport.

Difficulty (with an activity or task)

The difficulty a respondent experiences in undertaking or completing an activity or task is up to their own interpretation. A person might consider themselves to have difficulty with an activity or task if it takes them longer to complete than other people of the same age, causes pain or discomfort, or is harder for them to do because of their disability or old age.

Disability

In the context of health experience, the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICFDH) defines disability as an umbrella term for impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions. It denotes the negative aspects of the interaction between an individual (with a health condition) and that individual's contextual factors (environment and personal factors).

In this survey, a person has a disability if they report they have a limitation, restriction or impairment, which has lasted, or is likely to last, for at least six months and restricts everyday activities. This includes:
        • loss of sight (not corrected by glasses or contact lenses)
        • loss of hearing where communication is restricted, or an aid to assist with, or substitute for, hearing is used
        • speech difficulties
        • shortness of breath or breathing difficulties causing restriction
        • chronic or recurrent pain or discomfort causing restriction
        • blackouts, seizures, or loss of consciousness
        • difficulty learning or understanding
        • incomplete use of arms or fingers
        • difficulty gripping or holding things
        • incomplete use of feet or legs
        • nervous or emotional condition causing restriction
        • restriction in physical activities or in doing physical work
        • disfigurement or deformity
        • mental illness or condition requiring help or supervision
        • memory problems or periods of confusion causing restriction
        • social or behavioural difficulties causing restriction
        • long-term effects of head injury, stroke or other acquired brain injury causing restriction
        • receiving treatment or medication for any other long-term conditions or ailments and still being restricted
        • any other long-term conditions resulting in a restriction.

Disability group

See Appendix - Disability groups

Disability rate

The proportion of people with reported disability, in any given population or sub-population (e.g. age group).

Disability status

The level of specific limitation or restriction experienced by persons with disability. This is determined by the amount of difficulty experienced, the level of assistance needed from another person, or the use of an aid to undertake a particular core activity and/or to participate in education or employment activities.

Discrimination

Refers to persons who felt they had been unfairly considered or treated due to their disability.

Dressing

Dressing includes physical assistance for dressing or undressing activities, such as doing up buttons or zips, putting on socks and shoes, tying shoe laces, etc., including before or after showering or bathing. It also includes advising on appropriate clothing.

Eating (assistance with)

This includes the physical aspects of eating, as well as supervising to ensure the food is eaten and nothing harmful is placed in the mouth (e.g. bones) and any washing or clothing adjustments that are needed after eating or feeding. The physical aspects of eating include being seated at the table, serving food, cutting food into pieces and feeding.

Employed

People who reported that they had worked in a job, business or farm during the reference week (the full week prior to the date of interview); or that they had a job in the reference week, but were not at work.

Employment restriction

An employment restriction is determined for persons with one or more disabilities if, because of their disability, they meet one or more of the following:
        • are permanently unable to work
        • are restricted in the type of work they can or could do
        • need or would need at least one day a week off work on average
        • are restricted in the number of hours they can or could work
        • require or would require an employer to provide special equipment, modify the work environment or make special arrangements
        • require assistance from a disability job placement program or agency
        • need or would need to be given ongoing assistance or supervision
        • would find it difficult to change jobs or get a better job.

This information was collected for persons aged 15 years or more with one or more disabilities, living in households.

Establishment

See cared-accommodation.

Full-time employed

Employed persons who usually worked 35 hours or more a week (in all jobs) and those who, although usually working less than 35 hours a week, worked 35 hours or more during the reference week.

Health care

This activity comprises:
        • foot care
        • taking medication or administering injections
        • dressing wounds
        • using medical machinery and
        • manipulating muscles or limbs.

Highest educational attainment

Highest educational attainment identifies the highest achievement a person has attained in any area of study. It is a ranking of qualifications and other educational attainments regardless of the particular area of study or the type of institution at which the study was undertaken. Highest educational attainment is based on the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0).

Hours worked

Hours worked was only collected for people who were employed during the reference period. It refers to the number of hours usually worked in all jobs.

Household

A group of two or more related or unrelated people who usually reside in the same dwelling and who make common provision for food and other essentials for living; or a person living in a dwelling who makes provision for his or her own food and other essentials for living without combining with any other person. Thus a household may consist of:
        • one person
        • one family
        • one family and related individual(s)
        • related families with or without unrelated individual(s)
        • unrelated families with or without unrelated individual(s)
        • unrelated individuals.

Household chores

This activity comprises a single task 'household chores', examples of which are:
        • washing
        • vacuuming
        • dusting.

Impairment

In the context of health experience, an impairment is defined by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICFHD) as a loss or abnormality in body structure or physiological function (including mental functions). Abnormality is used to refer to a significant variation from established statistical norms.

Examples of an impairment are loss of sight or loss of a limb, disfigurement or deformity, impairment of mood or emotion, impairments of speech, hallucinations, loss of consciousness, and any other lack of function of body organs.

Labour force status

A classification of the population aged 15 years or over into employed, unemployed or not in the labour force.

Level of communication limitation

Four levels of communication limitation are determined based on whether a person needs help, has difficulty, or uses aids or equipment in communicating with others. A person's overall level of communication limitation is determined by their highest level of limitation in these activities.

The four levels of limitation are:
        • profound - the person cannot understand or be understood at all. They always need help when communicating with family or friends and people they don't know.
        • severe - the person:
          • communicates more easily with sign language or other non-spoken communication
          • sometimes needs help understanding or being understood by someone they don't know
          • sometimes needs help understanding or being understood by family or friends
          • doesn't need help, but has difficulty understanding or being understood by family or friends.
        • moderate - the person doesn't need help, but has difficulty understanding or being understood by someone they don't know, or the interview was conducted in English with difficulty because of communication problems.
        • mild - the person has no difficulty understanding or being understood by someone else, but uses a communication aid.

Level of employment restriction

Four levels of employment restrictions are determined based on whether a person needs help, has difficulty, or uses aids or equipment in their employment. A person's overall level of employment restriction is determined by their highest level of limitation in these activities.

The four levels of restriction are:
        • profound - the person's condition permanently prevents them from working.
        • severe - the person:
          • requires personal support
          • needs ongoing supervision or assistance
          • requires a special disability support person
          • receives assistance from a disability job placement program or agency.
        • moderate - the person is restricted in the type of job and/or the numbers of hours they can work or has difficulty in changing jobs.
        • mild - the person needs:
          • help from someone at work
          • special equipment
          • modifications to buildings or fittings
          • special arrangements for transport or parking
          • training
          • to be allocated different duties.

Level of mobility limitation

Four levels of mobility limitation are determined based on whether a person needs help, has difficulty, or uses aids or equipment in moving around. A person's overall level of mobility limitation is determined by their highest level of limitation in these activities.

The four levels of limitation are:
        • profound - the person:
          • does not get out of bed
          • does not move around the residence
          • does not leave home because of their condition
          • always needs help or supervision with:
            • moving around places away from their place of residence
            • moving about their place of residence
            • getting into or out of a bed or chair.
        • severe - the person sometimes need help or supervision with:
          • moving around places away from their place of residence
          • moving about their place of residence
          • getting into or out of a bed or chair.
        • moderate - the person has difficulty, but doesn't need help with:
          • moving around places away from their place of residence
          • moving about their place of residence
          • getting into or out of a bed or chair.
        • mild - the person doesn't need any help and doesn't have any difficulty with moving around, but:
          • uses a mobility aid
          • cannot easily walk 200 metres or takes longer to do so than most people their age
          • cannot walk up or down stairs without using a handrail
          • cannot easily bend to pick something off the floor
          • cannot use all forms of public transport without experiencing some difficulty.

Level of non-school educational restriction

Three levels of non-school educational restrictions are determined based on whether a person needs help, has difficulty, or uses aids or equipment in their education. A person's overall level of non-school educational restriction is determined by their highest level of limitation in these activities.

The three levels of restriction are:
        • severe - the person:
          • receives personal assistance
          • receives special tuition
          • receives assistance from a counsellor/disability support person.
        • moderate - the person:
          • often needs time off from school/institution
          • has difficulty at school/institution because of their condition(s)
          • has special assessment procedures.
        • mild - the person needs:
          • a special computer or other special equipment
          • special transport arrangements
          • special access arrangements
          • other special arrangements or support services.

Level of schooling restriction

Four levels of schooling restrictions are determined based on whether a person needs help, has difficulty, or uses aids or equipment in their education. A person's overall level of schooling restriction is determined by their highest level of limitation in these activities.

The four levels of restriction are:
        • profound - the person's condition prevents them from attending school.
        • severe - the person:
          • attends a special school or special classes
          • receives personal assistance
          • receives special tuition
          • receives assistance from a counsellor/disability support person.
        • moderate - the person:
          • often needs time off from school
          • has difficulty at school because of their condition(s)
          • has special assessment procedures.
        • mild - the person needs:
          • a special computer or other special equipment
          • special transport arrangements
          • special access arrangements
          • other special arrangements or support services.

Level of self-care limitation

Four levels of self-care limitation are determined based on whether a person needs help, has difficulty, or uses aids or equipment in looking after themselves. A person's overall level of self-care limitation is determined by their highest level of limitation in these activities.

The four levels of limitation are:
        • profound - the person always needs help or supervision with:
          • bathing or showering
          • dressing
          • eating
          • toileting
          • managing bladder or bowel control.
        • severe - the person sometimes need help or supervision with:
          • bathing or showering
          • dressing
          • eating
          • toileting
          • managing bladder or bowel control.
        • moderate - the person has difficulty, but doesn't need help with:
          • bathing or showering
          • dressing
          • eating
          • toileting
          • managing bladder or bowel control.
        • mild - the person:
          • doesn't need any help and doesn't have any difficulty with self-care, but uses an aid
          • does not use the toilet, but does not have difficulty controlling their bladder or bowel.

Limitation

A person has a limitation if they have difficulty, need assistance from another person, or use an aid, to do a particular core activity. See Appendix - Limitations and restrictions for more detail.

Living in households

A person is included in the 'Living in households' population if they are part of a household and reside in a private dwelling, excluding health establishments.

Long-term health condition

A long-term health condition is a disease or disorder that has lasted, or is likely to last, for six months or more and is current at the time of the survey. The exception to this is a periodic or episodic condition (e.g. asthma, epilepsy or schizophrenia, where people suffer attacks or relapses at irregular intervals) where the attack or relapse has occurred in the last 12 months. Conditions that had not occurred in the last 12 months because they had been controlled by medication were also included. Long-term health conditions were coded to a classification based on the World Health Organisation's International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10).

Meal preparation

Includes preparing ingredients and cooking food.

Mild core activity limitation

See Core activity limitation.

Mobility

This activity comprises the following tasks:
        • getting into or out of a bed or chair
        • moving about the usual place of residence
        • going to or getting around a place away from the usual residence
        • walking 200 metres
        • walking up and down stairs without a handrail
        • bending and picking up an object from the floor
        • using public transport.

Moderate core activity limitation

See Core activity limitation.

Multiple Response items

There are a number of data items that contain multiple responses, which means that the person being interviewed was able to select one or more response categories for these items. Multiple response items are indicated on the data item list.

Non-core activities

These include cognitive or emotional tasks, health care, meal preparation, reading or writing, household chores, property maintenance and transport.

Non-core restriction


A restriction in employment and/or schooling

Not in the labour force

Persons who were not employed or unemployed.

Part-time employed

Employed persons who usually worked less than 35 hours a week (in all jobs) and either did so during the reference week, or were not at work during the reference week.

Participation rate


In the context of labour force statistics, the participation rate for any group is the number of persons in the labour force (i.e. employed persons plus unemployed persons) expressed as a percentage of the population aged 15 years and over in the same group. In this publication, the population is restricted to persons aged 15 to 64 years.

Private dwellings


Houses, flats, home units, garages, tents and other structures used as private places of residence at the time of the survey. Includes self-care retirement villages.

Profound core activity limitation

See Core activity limitation.

Property maintenance

This activity includes light maintenance and gardening tasks, such as:
        • changing light bulbs, tap washers, car registration stickers
        • making minor home repairs
        • mowing lawns, watering, pruning shrubs, light weeding, planting
        • removing rubbish.

Proxy

A proxy is a person who answers the survey questions on behalf of someone who has been selected for interview. A proxy interview may be conducted:
        • when the selected person is less than 15 years of age, or
        • when the selected person is aged 15-17 years and parental consent to interview them personally has not been provided, or
        • due to the selected person's illness, injury or language difficulties.

Reading or writing

This activity includes tasks such as:
        • checking bills or bank statements
        • writing letters
        • filling in forms.

Remoteness

The ABS has defined Remoteness within the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS). Remoteness Areas (RAs) divide Australia into broad geographic regions that share common characteristics of remoteness for statistical purposes. There are six classes of RA in the Remoteness Structure: Major Cities of Australia, Inner Regional Australia, Outer Regional Australia, Remote Australia, Very Remote Australia and Migratory.

RAs are based on the Accessibility and Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) produced by the Australian Population and Migration Research Centre at the University of Adelaide. The Remoteness Structure is described in detail in the publication Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS): Volume 5 - Remoteness Structure, July 2011 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.005).


Restriction (education or employment)

A person has an education or employment restriction if he/she has difficulty participating, needs assistance from another person or uses an aid in education or employment. See Appendix - Limitations and restrictions for more detail.

Schooling restriction

A schooling restriction is determined for persons aged 5 to 20 years who have one or more disabilities if, because of their disability, they:

        • are unable to attend school
        • attend a special school
        • attend special classes at an ordinary school
        • need at least one day a week off school on average
        • have difficulty at school.

Self-care

This activity comprises the following tasks:
        • showering or bathing
        • dressing
        • eating
        • toileting
        • bladder or bowel control.

Severe core activity limitation

See Core activity limitation.

Showering or bathing

Showering or bathing is defined as getting in and out of the shower or bath, turning on/off taps in the shower or bath, washing, drying and having a bed-bath. It excludes dressing and undressing.

Specific limitation or restriction

A limitation in core activities, or a restriction in schooling or employment. This corresponds with the concept of 'handicap' used in previous ABS publications on disability.

Statistical significance


Differences between population estimates are said to be statistically significant when it can be stated with 95% confidence that there is a real difference between the populations. See Technical Note - Data quality for more information.

Task

A task is a component of an activity and represents the specific level at which information was collected.

Toileting aids

Includes the use of aids such as commodes, toilet frames, toilet chairs and any other aids, such as bedpans and urine bottles, used by people who find it difficult to move to the toilet.

Toileting

Toileting refers to any aspect of moving in and out of the toilet, including adjusting clothes and washing hands. It also includes any aspect of using a toileting aid, such as bedpans, urine bottles, and other toileting aids (see Toileting aids).

Transport


Transport is a single task activity referring to going to places away from the usual place of residence. Need for assistance and difficulty are defined for this activity as the need to be driven and difficulty going to places without help or supervision.

Underemployed

A person is considered underemployed if they:
        • are employed,
        • usually work 34 hours or less per week,
        • would like a job with more hours, and
        • are available to start work with more hours if offered a job in the next four weeks.

In this survey, the definition of 'underemployed' excludes persons employed full-time who worked only part-time hours in the reference week for economic reasons (e.g. through being stood down or due to insufficient work available).

Unemployed


Persons aged 15 years and over who were not employed during the reference week, and:
        • had actively looked for full-time or part-time work at any time in the four weeks up to the end of the reference week
        • were available for work in the reference week.

Unemployment rate

The unemployment rate for any group is the number of unemployed persons in that group expressed as a percentage of the labour force (i.e. employed persons plus unemployed persons) in the same group.