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Unpaid assistance to a person with a disability, health condition or due to old age (UNCAREP)

Census of Population and Housing: Census dictionary
Reference period
2021

Definition

This variable records the number of people who in the two weeks prior to Census night spent time providing unpaid care, help or assistance to family members or others because of:

  • a disability
  • a long-term health condition
  • problems related to old age 

This includes people who are in receipt of a Carer Allowance or Carer Payment. It does not include care provided through a voluntary organisation or group. Occasional help or assistance, such as shopping, is included if the person needs this type of assistance because of their condition.

Scope

Persons aged 15 years and over

Categories

CodeCategory

1

No unpaid assistance provided

2

Provided unpaid assistance

&

Not stated

@

Not applicable

V

Overseas visitor

Number of categories: 5

Not applicable (@) category comprises:

  • persons aged under 15 years

Question(s) from the Census form

In the last two weeks did the person spend time providing unpaid care, help or assistance to family members or others because of a disability, a long-term health condition or problems related to old age?

    In the last two weeks did the person spend time providing unpaid care, help or assistance to family members or others because of a disability, a long-term health condition or problems related to old age?
    In the last two weeks did Person 1 spend time providing unpaid care, help or assistance to family members or others because of a disability, a long-term health condition or problems related to old age?

    People who receive Carer Allowance or Carer Payment should state that they provided unpaid care.

    Occasional help or assistance, such as shopping, should only be included if the person needs this type of assistance because of their condition.

    Do not include work done through a voluntary organisation or group.

    More information

    Person's unpaid care for others

    No, did not provide unpaid care, help or assistance

    Yes, provided unpaid care, help or assistance

    More information

      Additional information relating to the question: In the last two weeks did the person spend time providing unpaid care, help or assistance to family members or others because of a disability, a long-term health condition or problems related to old age?
      In the last two weeks did Person 1 spend time providing unpaid care, help or assistance to family members or others because of a disability, a long-term health condition or problems related to old age?

      People who receive Carer Allowance or Carer Payment should state that they provided unpaid care.

      Occasional help or assistance, such as shopping, should only be included if the person needs this type of assistance because of their condition.

      Do not include work done through a voluntary organisation or group.

      More information

      A long-term health condition is one that has lasted, or is likely to last for six months or more.

      Unpaid care can include:
      • bathing, dressing, toileting or feeding someone
      • helping someone to move around
      • helping someone to understand or be understood by others
      • providing emotional support to someone and helping them maintain friendships and social activities
      • helping with or supervising medication or dressing wounds
      • cleaning, laundry, cooking, managing diets and preparing meals
      • performing housework, light household repairs or maintenance
      • managing household finances
      • driving or accompanying someone to appointments or activities.

      How this variable is created

      The responses to the unpaid assistance to a person with a disability, health condition or due to old age question are captured automatically from the mark box responses on the Census form.

      History and changes

      Questions on unpaid work and care, including ‘Unpaid assistance to a person with a disability’, were first asked for the 2006 Census.

      In 2021, the name of the variable changed from ‘Unpaid assistance to a person with a disability’ to ‘Unpaid assistance to a person with a disability, health condition or due to old age’.

      Data use considerations

      The question asked about care or assistance provided to another person to assist with daily activities because of disability, long-term illness or problems related to old age in the two weeks prior to the Census. No information on the amount of time spent on providing such unpaid care was collected. Further to the instructions in the question, the online form prompted respondents to include activities such as (but not limited to):

      • bathing
      • dressing
      • toileting and feeding someone
      • helping someone to move around
      • helping someone be understood by others
      • providing emotional support and helping maintain friendships and social activities
      • helping with or supervising medication or dressing wounds
      • cleaning
      • laundry
      • cooking
      • managing diets and preparing meals
      • performing housework
      • light household repairs or maintenance
      • managing household finances
      • driving or accompanying someone to appointments or activities

      Care should be taken when comparing Census data on ‘Unpaid assistance to a person with a disability, health condition or due to old age’ with information from other surveys and publications. The Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers collects information on the number of carers and their characteristics. Definitions and methodology can differ between different statistical collections and may not match Census definitions.

      The name of this variable changed in 2021, however the scope and content remains the same. If using time series data, the variable was previously called ‘Unpaid assistance to a person with a disability’.

      Related variables and glossary terms

      Other ABS sources

      A measure of the number of carers and their characteristics is also collected in the ABS Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers. While the concept is similar, the estimates differ due to different collection methodologies and population sizes. See more ABS statistics on Disability.