The prevalence of informal care and its association with health: longitudinal research using census data for England and Wales
Robards, J. (2015) Census Applications: Using the UK’s population census data, University of Manchester, UK 16 - 17 July 2015 [ONS LS]
Informal or unpaid caregiving is increasingly significant in the context of an ageing population and pressures related to the funding of care for older people. At the 2011 Census informal caring prevalence was higher than at 2001 and more people provided 20 hours or more care per week. Using a 1% sample of England and Wales 2011 Census records matched to the 2001 Census responses from the same individuals, the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study, this paper investigates informal carers at 2011 with reference to their caring role at 2001.
Using a typology of caring status, the paper examines the characteristics associated with providing care in 2011 and investigates the relationship between caring and health, taking into account selection into the caring role at 2011 depending on preceding health. Multivariate analyses to predict informal caring at 2011 among the carers at 2001 show that those providing 20 hours or more care in 2001 were the most likely to be caring at 2011, suggesting that past provision of care is crucial in predicting future caring.
With regard to the health of carers, compared to non-carers (1) there are similarly low odds of reporting bad or very bad health at the 2011 Census among those providing light (1-19 hours per week) or heavy (20+ hours per week) care at 2011 who were not caring 10 years before and (2) light informal carers at 2001 not caring 10 years later have no difference in the odds of reporting bad or very bad health.
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Output from project: 04010074