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Person (requiring care)—carer availability status, code N

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termData Element
Short name:Help on this termInformal carer availability
METeOR identifier:Help on this term270168
Registration status:Help on this termHealth, Superseded 04/07/2007
Community Services (retired), Superseded 29/04/2006
Definition:Help on this termWhether someone, such as a family member, friend or neighbour, has been identified as providing regular and sustained informal care and assistance to the person requiring care, as represented by a code.
Data Element Concept:Person (requiring care)—carer availability status

Value domain attributes

Representational attributes

Representation class:Help on this termCode
Data type:Help on this termNumber
Format:Help on this termN
Maximum character length:Help on this term1
Permissible values:Help on this term
1Has a carer
2Has no carer
Supplementary values:Help on this term
9Not stated/inadequately described

Data element attributes

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

This metadata item is purely descriptive of a client's circumstances. It is not intended to reflect whether the carer is considered by the service provider to be capable of undertaking the caring role.

In line with this, the expressed views of the client and/or their carer should be used as the basis for determining whether the client is recorded as having a carer or not.

A carer is someone who provides a significant amount of care and/or assistance to the person on a regular and sustained basis. Excluded from the definition of carers are paid workers or volunteers organised by formal services (including paid staff in funded group houses).

When asking a client about the availability of a carer, it is important for agencies or establishments to recognise that a carer does not always live with the person for whom they care. That is, a person providing significant care and assistance to the client does not have to live with the client in order to be called a carer.

The availability of a carer should also be distinguished from living with someone else. Although in many instances a co-resident will also be a carer, this is not necessarily the case. The metadata item Person—living arrangement (health), code N is designed to record information about person(s) with whom the client may live.

Collection methods:Help on this term

Agencies or establishments and service providers may collect this item at the beginning of each service episode and also assess this information at subsequent assessments or re-assessments.

Some agencies, establishments/providers may record this information historically so that they can track changes over time. Historical recording refers to the practice of maintaining a record of changes over time where each change is accompanied by the appropriate date.

Comments:Help on this term

Recent years have witnessed a growing recognition of the critical role that informal support networks play in caring for frail older people and people with disabilities within the community. Not only are informal carers responsible for maintaining people with often high levels of functional dependence within the community, but the absence of an informal carer is a significant risk factor contributing to institutionalisation. Increasing interest in the needs of carers and the role they play has prompted greater interest in collecting more reliable and detailed information about carers and the relationship between informal care and the provision of and need for formal services.

This definition of informal carer availability is not the same as the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) definition of principal carer, 1993 Disability, Ageing and Carers Survey and primary carer used in the 1998 survey. The ABS definitions require that the carer has or will provide care for a certain amount of time and that they provide certain types of care. This may not be appropriate for agencies or establishments wishing to obtain information about a person's carer regardless of the amount of time that care is for or the types of care provided. Information such as the amount of time for which care is provided can of course be collected separately but, if it were not needed, it would place a burden on service providers.

Source and reference attributes

Origin:Help on this term

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

National Health Data Committee

National Community Services Data Committee

Reference documents:Help on this termAustralian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 1993 Disability, Ageing and Carers Survey and 1998 survey.

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

Supersedes Informal carer availability, version 4, DE, Int. NCSDD & NHDD, NCSIMG & NHIMG, Superseded 01/03/2005.pdf (20.5 KB)

Has been superseded by Person—informal carer existence indicator, code N Health, Superseded 17/10/2018, Disability, Superseded 29/02/2016, Community Services (retired), Standard 29/04/2006

Implementation in Data Set Specifications:Help on this term
All attributes +

Cardiovascular disease (clinical) DSS Health, Superseded 15/02/2006

DSS specific attributes +

Cardiovascular disease (clinical) DSS Health, Superseded 04/07/2007

DSS specific attributes +
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