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Hirst, Michael

Health inequalities and informal care: end of project report

This report describes research that set out to measure, monitor and evaluate health inequalities associated with the provision of unpaid care. It outlines the scope and design of the project and presents the key findings. The adverse health effects of caring are primarily psychological and often manifest themselves as symptoms of anxiety, depression and social dysfunction. Caringrelated inequalities in psychological well-being are quantifiable and significant; they are most pronounced at key turning points in the caring trajectory and in the more demanding care situations.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:23

Informal carers count

The government strategy 'Caring About Carers' acknowledges that state care provision can never replace that of informal carers. Nurses working in primary and community health care potentially have a key role in identifying informal carers, meeting their health needs and ensuring they know of their rights to an assessment under the Carers Act. 

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:20

Trends in informal care in Great Britain during the 1990s

The population of adult carers in Great Britain declined during the 1990s while the proportion of those heavily involved in providing informal care increased. The intensification of care-giving was associated with an increasing number of caring relationships that typically make heavy demands on the carer: spouse care and caring for a child or parent. The provision of informal care by friends and neighbours diminished resulting in an overall decline in care-giving between households. However, parents were increasingly looked after in their own homes by non-resident daughters.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:19

Unpaid carers' access to and use of primary care services

General medical practitioners (GPs) and members of the primary care team have a pivotal role in supporting unpaid carers in their caring role and helping them to maintain their own health and well-being. This paper investigates the difference that caregiving makes to individuals’ access to and use of GP and primary care services. It is based on longitudinal analysis of carers’ contacts with GPs, and a review of the literature including evaluations of measures to improve primary-care-based support for carers. Men increase their consultation rates with GPs when taking on a caring role.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:17

Informal care over time

The government’s strategy, Caring for carers, aims to support carers in their caring activities, sustain their other roles including paid employment, and improve their long-term financial security. This project explored these policy goals using existing data sets to inform service developments and the allocation of resources for supporting adult carers. The research also provides baseline findings at the national level which could be used to monitor the impact of the strategy and related policy initiatives.
Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:16

Partner care at the end-of-life: identity, language and characteristics

The delivery of services and benefits to people supporting older and disabled relatives and friends depends largely on their identification within constructs of ‘care-giving’ and ‘carer’. Those who are married or living with a partner may be particularly resistant to adopting the identity of ‘care-giver’ or ‘care receiver’. This paper investigates the circumstances of couples and their adoption of carer identities, drawing on a study of the financial implications of a partner's death.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:13

Distress relief

Reports on research from the Social Policy Research Unit (SPRU) designed to measure and monitor health inequalities between carers and noncarers. The study used data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) covering the period from 1991 to 2000. Results found that emotional and mental health problems are more often associated with caregiving than physical health problems

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:12

Estimating the prevalence of unpaid adult care over time

To help fulfil their responsibilities towards unpaid carers, service providers need some idea of the carer's situation and how many might require support. This paper argues that estimating the prevalence of unpaid care across service planning and budgeting cycles provides a better indication of the size and composition of the carer population than estimates at a point in time. The article presents prevalence rates of unpaid adult care from the British Household Panel Survey.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:09

Hearts and minds: the health effects of caring

Around 6 million adults in Britain help and support family, partners or friends who are ill, frail or disabled. The care they provide is unpaid. They include over 1.5 million carers who devote at least 20 hours per week to their caring activities. However, most adults provide that level of care at some point in their lives. The UK, Scottish Executive and Welsh Assembly Governments have adopted strategies that aim to support carers in their caring role and enable them to continue caring for as long as they wish to do so.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:09