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Unpaid care

The following guidance sets out how to collect and report statistics about unpaid care to ensure statistics about this topic are as comparable as possible across the Government Statistical Service (GSS).


This section provides guidance on the survey questions to use when collecting information about unpaid care.

Interviewer Instructions:

  • To be asked to respondents aged 16 and over, by proxy if aged under 16 and by proxy is person is unfit to respond.

Do you do any of the things listed on this card for family members, friends, neighbours or others because they have long-term physical or mental ill-health or disability, or problems relating to old age? Please do not count anything you do as part of your paid employment.

  1. Yes
  2. No


  1. Keeping an eye out, ‘being there’: being available if needed, making your whereabouts known so you can be contacted if needed
  2. Social support and assistance: sitting with, chatting with/listening to/reading to, making/receiving telephone calls to talk to them, encouraging them to do things for themselves
  3. Accompanying on trips out to go: shopping, to hospital / GP / optician/dentist/chiropodist, to the park/church/restaurant
  4. Home and garden: making meals, going shopping for someone, washing/ironing/changing sheets, cleaning/housework, gardening, odd jobs/maintenance, lifting/carrying heavy objects
  5. Paperwork/official/financial: helping with paperwork, dealing with ‘officials’ (including by phone), paying bills/rents/rates, collecting pension/benefits
  6. Medical: collecting prescriptions, giving medication, changing dressings
  7. Moving about the home: giving help with getting up and down stairs, moving from room to room, getting in and out of bed
  8. Personal care: help with getting dressed, feeding, washing / bathing / using the toilet


if respondent answered yes:


Thinking about all the things you do for anyone else, about how many hours a week do you spend looking after or helping them? Please include any time you spend travelling so that you can do these activities.

  1. 0-4 hours a week
  2. 5-9 hours a week
  3. 10-19 hours a week
  4. 20-34 hours a week
  5. 35-49 hours a week
  6. 50-99 hours a week
  7. 100 or more hours a week
  8. varies – under 20 hours a week
  9. varies – 20 or more hours a week


Presentation of outputs

This section provides guidance for outputting the survey questions to use when collecting information about unpaid care.

Output categories: Carers * All providing care XXXX
All not providing care XXXX
All persons XXXXX

*Note:   Caring for family members, friends, neighbours or others.



Unpaid care (PDF, 0.07MB)


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