Last updated
25 Jan 2022

Do you look after, or give any help or support to family members, friends, neighbours or others because of either: long-term physical/mental ill-health/disability; or problems related to old age

How do I answer this question?

This question is about unpaid help and support you give to someone who is unwell, elderly or unable to manage on their own.

Select the option that is closest to the average time you spend helping someone, if the hours you support them vary from week to week.

Include all unpaid care you provide, including occasional help. Use the following guidance to help you know what to include.

Include any unpaid care you provide because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

If you receive Carer’s Allowance or Young Carer Grant, this is still considered as formally recognised, but unpaid care.

What is meant by looking after, or giving help or support to?

This question is about unpaid help or support you give to family, friends, neighbours or others who are unable to fully care for themselves due to:

  • health problems
  • substance abuse
  • disability (including learning disability) or
  • problems related to old age

The following are some examples of the type of care this question refers to:

  • providing companionship, in or out of the home: sitting, chatting, reading or being with someone to support them
  • keeping an eye out, being available if needed or making your whereabouts known so you can be contacted if needed
  • shopping, collecting prescriptions or accompanying on trips out
  • cooking, cleaning, laundry or other household chores or garden assistance
  • help with paperwork, managing money or banking
  • moving about the home or personal care: getting up and down stairs, getting in or out of bed, helping someone dress or with feeding, washing or toileting

I give occasional informal care to a disabled neighbour. I am not their regular formal carer. Do I count this?

Yes, this should be included.

I do some of these things for my elderly parents and do not get paid. Do I include this?

Yes, this is classed as unpaid care and should be counted.

I sometimes volunteer at a day centre for old people – do I include this?

No, caring done as either paid or on a volunteer basis should not be counted.

I am a parent – is caring for my children counted as unpaid care?

You should include this if your child requires additional care and support due to a health problem or disability. You should not include caring for children who do not require additional care and support.

I am a kinship carer – do I include this?

You should include this if the child you care for requires additional care and support due to a health problem or disability. You should not include this if the child you care for does not require additional care and support.

Why is this question asked?

Understanding the amount of unpaid care that is given is a key indicator of the care needs in particular populations and areas.

This information will assist in the planning and provision of:

  • health and social care services
  • local facilities and services such as in-home support and respite care
  • information and support to carers

Who should answer this question?

This question should be answered for everybody who is aged 3 or over.

Is this page useful?

Do not include personal information or contact information. Please note that we will not respond directly to any feedback sent from this page. We will use this information to improve our service.