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Person—informal carer existence indicator, code N

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termData Element
Short name:Help on this termInformal carer existence indicator
Synonymous names:Help on this termInformal carer availability, Informal carer existence flag, Carer arrangements (informal)
METeOR identifier:Help on this term320939
Registration status:Help on this termHealth, Superseded 17/10/2018
Disability, Superseded 29/02/2016
Community Services (retired), Standard 29/04/2006
Definition:Help on this term

Whether a person has an informal carer, as represented by a code.

Data Element Concept:Person—informal carer existence indicator

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
ValueMeaning
1Yes
2No
Supplementary values:Help on this term
9Not stated/inadequately described

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

CODE 9    Not stated/inadequately described

This code is not for use in primary data collections.

Data element attributes

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

Informal carers may include those people who receive a pension or benefit for their caring role and people providing care under family care agreements. Excluded from the definition of informal carers are volunteers organised by formal services and paid workers.

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

When asking a client whether they have an informal 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 an informal carer.

Collection methods:Help on this term

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

Examples of questions that have been used for data collection include:

Home and Community Care NMDS

‘Do you have someone who helps look after you?’

Commonwealth State/Territory Disability Agreement NMDS

‘Does the service user have an informal carer, such as family member, friend or neighbour, who provides care and assistance on a regular and sustained basis?

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 is not the same as the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) definition of principal carer, 2003 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers 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.

The ABS defines a primary carer as a person of any age who provides the most informal assistance, in terms of help or supervision, to a person with one or more disabilities. The assistance has to be ongoing, or likely to be ongoing, for at least six months and be provided for one or more of the core activities (communication, mobility and self care). This may not be appropriate for community services agencies 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 term

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 1993 Disability, Ageing and Carers Survey and 2003 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2005) Commonwealth State/Territory Disability Agreement National Minimum Data Set collection (CSTDA NMDS) Data Guide: 2005-06.

National HACC Minimum Data Set User Guide Version 2 July 2005. Home and Community Care (HACC) Program.

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

Supersedes Person (requiring care)—carer availability status, code N Health, Superseded 04/07/2007, Community Services (retired), Superseded 29/04/2006

Has been superseded by Person—informal carer existence indicator, yes/no/not stated/inadequately described code N Health, Standard 17/10/2018, Disability, Standard 29/02/2016

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

Cardiovascular disease (clinical) DSS Health, Superseded 22/12/2009

DSS specific attributes +

Cardiovascular disease (clinical) DSS Health, Superseded 01/09/2012

DSS specific attributes +

Cardiovascular disease (clinical) NBPDS Health, Superseded 17/10/2018

DSS specific attributes +

Commonwealth State/Territory Disability Agreement NMDS (July 2008) Community Services (retired), Superseded 11/11/2009

DSS specific attributes +

Commonwealth State/Territory Disability Agreement NMDS - 1 July 2006 Community Services (retired), Superseded 14/12/2008

DSS specific attributes +

Disability Services NMDS 2009-10 Community Services (retired), Superseded 15/12/2011

DSS specific attributes +

Disability Services NMDS 2010-11 Community Services (retired), Superseded 15/12/2011

DSS specific attributes +

Disability Services NMDS 2011-12 Community Services (retired), Superseded 13/03/2013

DSS specific attributes +

Disability Services NMDS 2012-14 Community Services (retired), Standard 13/03/2013

DSS specific attributes +

Disability Services NMDS 2014-15 Disability, Superseded 29/02/2016
Community Services (retired), Proposed 23/04/2014

DSS specific attributes +
Implementation in Indicators:Help on this termUsed as numerator
National Disability Agreement: g-Labour force participation rate for carers aged 15-64 of people with disability, 2010 Community Services (retired), Superseded 15/12/2011
National Disability Agreement: h-Proportion of carers of people with disability accessing support services to assist in their caring role (h-interim), 2010 Community Services (retired), Superseded 15/12/2011
National Disability Agreement: h-Proportion of carers of people with disability accessing support services to assist in their caring role (h-interim), 2011 Community Services (retired), Superseded 05/03/2012
National Disability Agreement: h-Proportion of carers of people with disability accessing support services to assist in their caring role (h-interim), 2012 Community Services (retired), Superseded 23/05/2013
Used as denominator
National Disability Agreement: g-Labour force participation rate for carers aged 15-64 of people with disability, 2010 Community Services (retired), Superseded 15/12/2011
National Disability Agreement: h-Proportion of carers of people with disability accessing support services to assist in their caring role (h-interim), 2010 Community Services (retired), Superseded 15/12/2011
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