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Cash for care

The following resources refer to direct payments, personal budgets and similar arrangements that provide cash to the carer to organise support on their own behalf and/or that of the person cared for.

Click on the title of any resource to find out more about the source of the information such as the type of reference, ISBN/ISSN, publication year, keywords. A number of these fields can be used to find further resources i.e. with the same keywords, or by the same author using the links on the right-hand side and within the Key Information box.

You can also click on an author's name in the list below to find further resources by that author, and use the DOI and other links to access the original source material (note: some source materials require subscription or permission to access).
 

Scotland's Progressive Rhetoric: Devolution and Carer's Allowance

The Scotland Act 2016 devolved powers over eleven social security benefits (including Carer's Allowance) providing Scotland with some, albeit limited, opportunity to differentiate itself in terms of welfare policy progressivity. The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 set out the strategy for supporting those who limit their employment or educational enrolment due to the responsibility of caring for an adult or child with a health condition. Using a microsimulation of Scottish data from the Family Resource Survey, this article explores the potential impact, on income and poverty rates of carer households, of raising the level of CA by various amounts and by changing the eligibility criteria. It concludes that, while the Scottish Government's ambitions are too modest to fully support their progressive rhetoric, or to change the overall income inequality landscape, the reforms in targeted policy do make a substantial difference to the lived experience to carers in poverty and, by extension, to the receipt of that care. 

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Incentivizing the care of adult family members through a two-part tax credit

In the United States, nearly thirty-four million individuals provide informal care for their adult family members each year. Adult care recipients experience positive emotional and health-related outcomes when cared for by relatives, but this responsibility also places significant stress on caregivers. The government should subsidize and encourage family adult care, not only because of these social impacts, but also because this care can reduce healthcare costs. Family caregivers help their relatives avoid expensive institutional care and are also cost-efficient providers of care due to their relationships with the care recipients. The tax code is an effective and politically palatable vehicle through which the government can provide this subsidy, despite some structural limitations. However, existing and recently proposed tax incentives do not adequately target the benefits associated with family caregiving. Therefore, this Note proposes a new two-part advanced refundable tax credit that will help the government reduce costs and enhance social benefits.

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Comparison of financial support for family caregivers of people at the end of life across six countries: A descriptive study

Background: Family caregivers of people at the end of life can face significant financial burden. While appropriate financial support can reduce the burden for family caregivers, little is known about the range and adequacy of financial support, welfare and benefits for family caregivers across countries with similarly developed health care systems. Aim: The aim is to identify and compare sources of financial support for family caregivers of people approaching the end of life, across six countries with similarly performing health care systems (Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States). Design: A survey of financial support, welfare and benefits for end of life family caregivers was completed by 99 palliative care experts from the six countries. Grey literature searches and academic database searches were also conducted. Comparative analyses of all data sources documented financial support within and between each country. Results: Some form of financial support for family caregivers is available in all six countries; however the type, extent and reach of support vary. Financial support is administered by multiple agencies, eligibility criteria for receiving support are numerous and complex, and there is considerable inequity in the provision of support. Conclusion: Numerous barriers exist to the receipt of financial support, welfare and benefits. We identified several areas of concern, including a lack of clarity around eligibility, inconsistent implementation, complexity in process and limited support for working carers. Nonetheless, there is significant potential for policymakers to learn from other countries' experiences, particularly with regard to the scope and operationalisation of financial support. 

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Carers at breaking point: Making the case for carers' breaks in England

This report shows the that majority of unpaid carers are unable to take sufficient breaks and also highlights an unfair and unequal provision of carers’ breaks services across England. The report is based on the results of a survey of over 1,000 carers in the UK and a freedom of information request to local authorities and clinical commissioning groups across England. Only 8 per cent of carers responding to the survey felt they had been able to take sufficient breaks. Almost half of respondents said they had not been able to take breaks even if they would have liked to, with 38 per cent f those not being able to afford replacement care. Carers who hadn’t taken a break from caring within the last year were also more likely to report that their mental or physical health had suffered as a result of caring. The Freedom of Information request also found wide variation in the amount of money local authorities and clinical commissioning groups are spending on carers’ breaks through the dedicated Better Care Fund. The report makes recommendations to improve access to breaks for carers, including increased funding for carers’ breaks through the Better Care Fund and for local authorities to make breaks a key part of their preventative work. 

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The turn to optional familialism through the market: Long‐term care, cash‐for‐care, and caregiving policies in Europe

Cash‐for‐care (CfC) schemes are monetary transfers to people in need of care who can use them to organize their own care arrangements. Mostly introduced in the 1990s, these schemes combine different policy objectives, as they can aim at (implicitly or explicitly) supporting informal caregivers as well as increasing user choice in long‐term care or even foster the formalization of care relations and the creation of care markets. This article explores from a comparative perspective, how CfC schemes, within broader long‐term care policies, envision, frame, and aim to condition informal care, if different models of relationships between CfC and informal care exist and how these have persisted or changed over time and into which directions. Building on the scholarly debate on familialization vs. defamilialization policies, the paper proposes an analytical framework to investigate the trajectories of seven European countries over a period of 20 years. The results show that, far from being simply instruments of supported familialism, CfC schemes have contributed to a turn towards “optional familialism through the market,” according to which families are encouraged to provide family care and are (directly or indirectly) given alternatives through the provision of market care.

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Invisible partners in care: Snapshot of well-being among caregivers receiving comprehensive support from Veterans Affairs

Background and aims: Since May 2011, over 23 000 caregivers of Veterans seriously injured on or after September 11, 2001 have enrolled in the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC). PCAFC provides caregivers training, a stipend, and access to health care. The aim of this study is to describe the characteristics of caregivers in PCAFC and examine associations between caregiver characteristics and caregiver well-being outcomes.; Methods: We sent a web survey invitation to 10 000 PCAFC caregivers enrolled as of September 2015. Using linear and logistic regressions, we examine associations between PCAFC caregiver characteristics and caregiver outcomes: perceived financial strain, depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale [CESD-10]), perceived quality of Veteran's Veterans Health Administration (VHA) care, and self-reported caregiver health.; Results: We had complete survey data for 899 respondents. Since becoming a caregiver, approximately 50% of respondents reported reducing or stopping work. Mean time spent providing care was 3.8 years (median 3, IQR 1-5) with an average of 4.9 weekdays (median 5, IQR 5-5) and 1.9 weekend days (median 2, IQR 2-2). The mean CESD-10 score was 8.2 (median 7, 4-12), at the cutoff for screening positive for depressive symptoms. A longer duration of caregiving was associated with having 0.08 increase in rating of financial strain (95% CI, 0.02-0.14). Caregiver rating of the Veteran's health status as "fair" or better was a strong predictor of better caregiver outcomes, ie, self-reported caregiver health. However, higher levels of education were associated with worse caregiver outcomes, ie, lower global satisfaction with VHA care, higher CESD-10 score, and higher rating of financial strain.; Conclusions: Higher depressive symptoms among longer duration caregivers, coupled with high rates of reductions in hours worked, suggest interventions are needed to address the long-term emotional and financial needs of these caregivers of post-9/11 Veterans and identify subpopulations at risk for worse outcomes.

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Paid Family Leave: An Emerging Benefit for Employed Family Caregivers of Older Adults

As our population ages, the ability to take time off to care for an ill family member or close friend without losing income or a job is a growing social, health, and economic issue for American families. Therefore, the need for paid family leave policies for workers with caregiving responsibilities is an important topic for employers and policymakers, in the clinical care of older adults, and at kitchen tables across the United States. Despite this growing need, paid family leave is not available to most workers, and there is no national paid family leave policy. Health care and social service providers have a role in ensuring that family members of their patients with a serious health condition or disability are aware of the potential availability of paid family leave benefits in the states and businesses that provide them. Building a better system of care for older adults means changes not only in health care settings and in long-term services and supports, but in workplaces too. This article describes the challenges faced by workers with family caregiving responsibilities, explains why paid family leave matters, indicates which states have adopted these protections, and reviews research on existing paid family leave policies. Finally, actions by clinicians and other stakeholders are offered to advance awareness about paid family leave benefits, including coverage for workers with care responsibilities for older people.

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A 'gaping hole' in US health care? Millions of caregivers are overlooked

Caregivers in the United States face significant economic loss and stress to care for their families and friends during and after medical treatment, a fact that highlights a "gaping hole" in the U.S. health care system, Aaron Carroll, a professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine, writes for the New York Times' "The Upshot." Another study published in Cancer in 2009 found that two-year caregiving costs exceeded $72,000 for lung cancer, $66,000 for ovarian cancer, $59,000 for lymphoma, and $38,000 for breast cancer. The U.S. Family and Medical Leave Act grants up to 12 workweeks of leave for employees to care for a family member with a health problem, "[b]ut that leave is unpaid," Carroll writes.

Paying the Hidden Bill: How Public Health Can Support Older Adults and Informal Caregivers

The article explores how public health systems in the U.S. can support older adults and informal caregivers. Topics discussed include how informal caregivers, an unpaid labor pool, are the cornerstone of long-term care in the U.S., forming a national caregiving strategy and ways these caregivers could be paid through medicaid, paid sick leave and providing tax credits.

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Making Ends Meet (or Not): How Public Policy Affects Caregivers' Income

Federal policies present roadblocks to caregivers, especially to their financial security. Federal Medicaid law limits payments for spousal caregiving and the Family and Medical Leave Act only provides for unpaid leave. The Social Security Administration gives no work credits for persons providing free caregiving. Federal Medicaid law requires all caregiving be provided voluntarily, but many state Medicaid programs are not in compliance. And, federal law requires that state Medicaid programs provide protections against spousal impoverishment for persons receiving Medicaid HCBS, but the federal requirement expires at the end of 2018.

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Family Caregiving and the Intergenerational Transmission of Poverty

The United States relies on uncompensated family caregivers to provide most of the long-term care required by older adults as they age. But such care comes at a significant financial cost to these caregivers in the form of lower lifetime earnings and diminished (or even no) Social Security retirement benefits, ineligibility for Medicare coverage of their healthcare costs, and minimal retirement savings. To reduce the impact of uncompensated caregiving on the intergenerational transmission of poverty, this paper discusses three possible mechanisms of compensating family caregivers: public payments, deemed wage credits under Social Security, and income tax incentives.

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When and how should relatives be paid through a direct payment?

Family members are delivering unpaid care to loved-ones because direct payments are insufficient to hire staff, writes Belinda Schwehr. 

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The impact of personal budgets on unpaid carers of older people

Summary: This paper focuses on the impact of a personal budget – either in the form of a direct payment or managed personal budget – on the role of unpaid carers of older budget holders. Data were collected via postal survey of 1500 unpaid carers and semi-structured interviews with 31 carers. Findings: Unpaid carers played a central role in supporting older budget holders irrespective of the type of budget received. The allocation of a personal budget may have decreased the amount of ‘hands-on’ care they provided, enabling them to do different things for and with the person cared for, but most did not relinquish direct involvement in care provision. Both kinds of personal budget provided greater flexibility to juggle caring tasks with other roles, such as childcare or paid employment. However, carers supporting direct payment users did experience higher levels of stress. This seemed linked to the additional responsibilities involved in administering the direct payment. Carers seemed relatively unsupported by their local Adult Social Care Department: the survey found that only one in five said they had ever received a carer assessment. Application: The findings offer a detailed exploration of the impact of personal budgets on carers, suggesting that even in countries with relatively well-developed systems of support for carers such as England their impact remains overlooked. The paper may be of interest to social work practitioners, managers, academics and social work policy specialists working in countries that have, or are about to introduce, personal budgets or other forms of cash-for-care scheme.

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Do Personal Budgets Increase the Risk of Abuse? Evidence from English National Data

With the continued implementation of the personalisation policy, Personal Budgets (PBs) have moved to the mainstream in adult social care in England. The relationship between the policy goals of personalisation and safeguarding is contentious. Some have argued that PBs have the potential to empower recipients, while others believe PBs, especially Direct Payments, might increase the risk of abuse. This paper provides empirical evidence about levels of uptake of PBs and safeguarding referrals in England based on in-depth analysis of national data at aggregate, local council level in England, covering 152 Councils. This is complemented by analysis of 2,209 individual referral records obtained from three purposively selected study sites. The aim is to explore whether available data could provide evidence of association between the uptake of PBs and safeguarding referrals. Analysis of the national dataset found no significant relationships between PB uptake and the level and type of alleged abuse. However, analysis of individual-level referral data, from the three selected sites did find some significant associations particularly with financial abuse; and found the main perpetrators of the alleged abuse to be home-care employees. The findings are discussed within the context of current policy and practice.

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Public expenditure costs of carers leaving employment in England, 2015/2016

In the context of global population ageing, the reconciliation of employment and unpaid caring is becoming an important social issue. The estimation of the public expenditure costs of carers leaving employment is a valuable measure that is of considerable interest to policy makers. In 2012, the Personal Social Services Research Unit estimated that the public expenditure costs of unpaid carers leaving employment in England were approximately £1.3 billion a year, based on the costs of Carer's Allowance and lost tax revenues on forgone incomes. However, this figure was known to be an underestimate partly because it did not include other key benefits that carers who have given up work to care may receive. This paper presents a new estimate of the public expenditure costs of carers leaving employment. Key sources of information are the 2009/2010 Survey of Carers in Households, 2011 Census and 2015/2016 costs data. As well as Carer's Allowance, the estimate also now includes the costs of other benefits that carers leaving work may receive, namely, Income Support and Housing Benefit. The results show that the estimated numbers of carers who have left employment because of caring have increased from approximately 315,000 to 345,000. Due mainly to the inclusion of a wider range of benefits, the public expenditure costs of carers leaving employment in England are now estimated at £2.9 billion a year. The new estimate comprises £1.7 billion in social security benefits paid to people who have left their jobs because of unpaid caring, plus another £1.2 billion in taxes forgone on this group's lost earnings. The paper concludes that, if there was greater public investment in social care, such as "replacement care" to support carers in employment, and fewer carers then left employment, public spending on benefits would be lower and revenues from taxation would be higher.

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Austerity and the lives of people with learning disabilities. A thematic synthesis of current literature

The Financial Crisis of 2008 resulted in many western economies implementing cuts in health and social care. This systematic review provides a holistic picture of the impact of austerity policy on the lives of people with learning disabilities (LD) and the collateral effects on the people who support them. Our review suggests that in the current climate of economic austerity, available funding to support people with LD is no longer aligned to their care needs. Cuts in disability services have adversely affected the well-being both of people with LD and their informal carers. Individuals with LD have lost social support and are experiencing increased social isolation. Heightened demands on family carers’ time have negatively influenced their wider roles, including parental functioning, and labour market participation. Our review provides the foundations for further discourse and research on the effects of austerity on people with LD and their family carers.

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The role of family carers in the use of personal budgets by people with mental health problems

Personal budgets aim to increase choice and independence for people with social care needs but they remain underused by people with mental health problems compared to other disability groups. The use of personal budgets may impact on families in a variety of ways, both positive and negative. This paper draws on interviews, undertaken in 2012-2013 with 18 family carers and 12 mental health service users, that explored experiences of family involvement in accessing and managing personal budgets for a person with mental health-related social care needs. The sample was drawn from three sites across England, with additional carers being recruited via voluntary sector networks. Our findings show that for many people with severe mental health needs who lack motivation and confidence to negotiate access to personal budgets, carers may provide the necessary support to enable them to benefit from this form of social care support. We illustrate the role carers may play in initiating, pursuing and maximising the level of support available through personal budgets. However, some carers interviewed considered that personal budget funding was reduced because of practitioners' assumptions about carers' willingness and ability to provide support. We also report perceived tensions between family carers and practitioners around appropriate involvement in decision-making. The study findings have implications for local authorities, practitioners and family carers in supporting the involvement of family carers in support for people with severe mental health problems. 

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Contracting one's family members: the Dutch care allowance

This chapter focuses on systems of payment for social care in the Netherlands where an elaborate system was developed in the 1990s of 'personal budgets', supplied directly to care users and heavily regulated, which enabled them to pay relatives, friends and neighbours for appropriate help. Despite the efficiency and popularity of the PGB (Dutch Care Allowance or personal budget) the Dutch government is committed to reducing the scope and costs of the scheme. The chapter reviews the PGB in 2004, the impact of the subsequent changes and the PGB's uncertain future. Statistics supply background to the demographic context in the Netherlands with formal services assisting approximately half the heavily impaired population aged 55 or over and many fewer with less serious disabilities. The chapter moves on to policy on income, health, care and well being for older people and traces the origins of the PGB. The 2001 'Shifting Boundaries' study interviewed 15 budget holders and 14 helpers. Carers' situations and wages [...]

Money going in, but will care come out?

Safeguards needed if informal carers are to be given cash payments to buy care packages. [(BNI unique abstract)]

Ticket to ride

Explains how Lancashire social services' voucher scheme is giving carers more choice and flexibility over respite care.

Gender differences in intergenerational care in European welfare states

Elderly people with functional limitations are predominantly cared for by family members. Women – spouses and daughters – provide most of this care work. In principle, gender inequality in intergenerational care may have three causes: first, daughters and sons have different resources to provide care; second, daughters and sons respond differently to the same resources; third, welfare state programmes and cultural norms affect daughters and sons differently. In this paper, we address the empirical question whether these three assumed causes are in fact responsible for gender differences in intergenerational care. The empirical analyses, based on the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), reveal that parents in need are in fact more likely to receive care from daughters than from sons. Daughters are more responsive to the needs of their parents than sons and respond differently to the same resources. Gender inequality is highest in countries with a high level of intergenerational care, high public spending on old-age cash-benefits, a low provision of professional care services, high family obligation norms and a high level of gendered division of labour. Welfare state programmes reduce or increase gender inequality in intergenerational care by reducing or increasing the engagement of daughters in intergenerational care. In general, care-giving by sons is hardly influenced by social care policies.

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Considerations in developing and delivering a non-pharmacological intervention for symptom management in lung cancer: the views of health care professionals

Background: A respiratory distress symptom cluster has recently been identified in lung cancer associated with breathlessness, cough and fatigue, and the study reported here is part of a wider body of work being undertaken to develop a novel non-pharmacological intervention (NPI) for the management of this symptom cluster. The current paper reports the views of health care professionals (HCPs) involved with cancer care regarding the most appropriate ways of developing and delivering such a novel intervention.

Methods: Five focus groups, supplemented with additional telephone interviews, were conducted with a range of both community- and acute-based HCPs involved in symptom management for lung cancer patients. Participants included oncologists, palliative care consultants, specialist nurses, occupational therapists and physiotherapists. The focus groups were transcribed verbatim and analysed using NVIVO to support a framework analysis approach.

Results: The current delivery of NPIs was found to be ad hoc and varied between sites both in terms of what was delivered and by which health care professionals. The provision of NPIs within acute medical settings faced common problems concerning staffing time and space, and there was a recognition that the preference of most patients to make as few hospital visits as possible also complicated NPI teaching. Moreover, there may only be a small window of opportunity in which to effectively teach lung cancer patients a novel NPI as the period between diagnosis and the onset of severe symptoms is often short.

Discussion: The participants agreed that the novel symptom management NPI should be individually personalised to the needs of each patient and be available for patients when they become receptive to it. Moreover, they agreed that the intervention would be most effective if delivered to patients individually rather than in groups, outside acute medical settings where possible and closer to patient’s homes, should be delivered by an HCP rather than a trained volunteer or lay person and should involve informal carers wherever practicable.

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The initial evaluation of the Scottish Telecare Development Program

In 2006 the Scottish Government provided just over £8 million to help 32 health and social care partnerships to develop telecare services. This paper presents a summary of the 2007-2008 evaluation of the Scottish Telecare Development. This evaluation focused on measuring overall program progress toward eight predefined Scottish Telecare Development objectives. Results indicate that the initial investment has resulted in significant savings to the health and social care sectors. Additionally, telecare provides opportunities to promote independence and improve the quality of life of service users and their informal carers. However, some caution needs to be taken in interpreting the findings as results are based on self-reported performance from partnerships, and many of the reported monetary ''savings'' are actually efficiency savings and are unlikely, in practice, to be cash-releasing.

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Supporting family carers providing end-of-life home care: a qualitative study on the impact of a hospice at home service

Aims and objectives: To explore bereaved family carers' perceptions and experiences of a hospice at home service.

Background: The increasing demand for the development of home-based end-of-life services is not confined to the western world; such services are also emerging in resource-poor countries where palliative care services are developing with limited inpatient facilities. Despite this growing trend, studies show a variety of interrelated factors, with an emphasis on the availability of informal carers and their ability to cope, which can influence whether terminally ill patients actually remain at home. A hospice at home service was developed to meet patients' and families' needs by providing individually tailored resources.

Design: A qualitative study.

Methods: Data were collected by semi-structured, digitally recorded interviews from 20 family carers who had experienced the service. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and a thematic approach adopted for analysis.

Results: All participants reported a personal positive impact of the service. Family carers commented the service provided a valued presence, they felt in good hands and importantly it helped in supporting normal life.

Conclusions: The impact of an individualised, targeted, hospice at home service using dedicated, palliative care trained, staff, is perceived positively by family carers and importantly, supportive of those with additional caring or employment commitments.

Relevance to clinical practice: The emergence of hospice at home services has resulted in more options for patients and their families, when the increased amount of care a family member has to provide in these circumstances needs to be adequately supported, with the provision of a flexible service tailored to individual needs and delivered by appropriately trained staff.

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A critical consideration of the cash for care agenda and its implications for social services in Wales

This paper considers cash for care as reflected in direct payments and the more recent development of individual budgets in England. While the momentum to roll out individual budgets gathers pace in England, Wales has embarked on a more cautious approach in wishing to evaluate the impact of individual budgets on social services. The paper identifies some of the far reaching implications of cash for care in general and individual budgets in particular, for service users, carers ‐ both paid and informal ‐ and for the social work profession. The policy incoherence in relation to risk and safeguarding is highlighted. This paper supports the approach currently adopted by the Welsh Assembly Government in relation to the ‘rolling out’ of individual budgets. The Assembly's 10‐year strategy for social services focuses on the rights of citizens and the needs of communities. This paper argues that fulfilling that vision should not be wholly contingent upon an unproven extension into the field of individual budgets.

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Cash for care in the French welfare state: a skilful compromise?

The French system of social care policy for dependent older people is an allowance known as the Prestation Specifique Dependance (PSD) from January 1997 to December 2001 and subsequently the Allocation Personalisee a l'Automie (APA) from January 2002 for services or to pay a member of the family. The chapter covers demographic factors underlying this policy development with statistical tables, and the two principal stages of French social care policy, examining the impact of these on carers who may be either formal (paid) or informal (unpaid). The development in France of a policy relating to frail older people has been very slow with the political debate comprising four main issues - compulsory or optional insurance, funding and management, the relationship of the different welfare sectors and the relationship between the family, the market and the state. The development of the PSD and its characteristics and take-up rates are explored. The policy was much delayed provoking intense dissatisfaction from [...]

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Patterns of exclusion of carers for people with mental health problems - the perspectives of professionals

A major issue in research, policy and professional practice is the social exclusion of carers, in particular carers for people with mental health problems. In order to address the issue of social exclusion from the perspectives of professionals, 65 participants were interviewed. The sample included directors, managers and senior staff from the social care, health and voluntary sectors. Respondents were asked to comment at length on the social exclusion of carers. Findings highlight four main types of exclusion: first, personal exclusions, including stigma; keeping mental health problems ‘a secret’; and taboos surrounding mental health care; second, social exclusions, such as isolation; narrowing of social networks; restrictions due to time commitments; exclusions relating to education, training, employment and leisure; and young carers; third, service exclusions involving carers being taken for granted and having difficulties with access to appropriate services; and fourth, financial or economic exclusions that lead to carers paying for care. This paper documents patterns of exclusion and draws out implications for research, policy and professional practice. In conclusion this paper also considers the ways in which professionals and services may better promote the social inclusion of carers for people with mental health problems in the future.

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The redefinition of the familialist home care model in France: the complex formalization of care through cash payment

This article investigates the impact of policy measures on the organisation of home-based care for older people in France, by examining the balance between formal and informal care and the redefinition of the initial familialist model. It focuses on the specific cash for care scheme (the Allocation personnalisée d’autonomie – Personalised allowance for autonomy) which is at the core of the French home-based care policy. The author argues that in a redefined context of ‘welfare mix’, the French public strategy for supporting home-based care in France is articulated around two major objectives, which can appear contradictory. It aims to formalise a professional care sector, with respect to the employment policy while allowing the development of new forms of informal care, which cannot be considered to be formal employment. The data collection is two-fold. Firstly, a detailed analysis was made of different policy documents and public reports, together with a systematic review of existing studies. Secondly, statistical analysis on home-based care resources were collected, which was not easy, as home-care services for older people in France are part of a larger sector of activity, ‘personal services’ (services à la personne). The article exposes three main findings. First, it highlights the complexity of the formalisation process related to the introduction of the French care allowance and demonstrates that formalisation, which facilitates the recognition of care as work, does not necessarily mean professionalisation. Second, it outlines the diversity of the resources available: heterogeneous professional care, semi-formal forms of care work with the possibility to employ a relative and informal family care. Finally, the analysis outlines the importance of the regulation of cash payments on the reshaping of formal and informal care and comments on its impact on the redefinition of informal caring activities.

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Personalisation and carers: whose rights? Whose benefits?

Increasing numbers of developed welfare states now operate cash-for-care schemes in which service users are offered cash payments in place of traditional social services. Such schemes raise concerns about the extent to which they include and support carers. This paper aims to explore some of these issues through an analysis of a cash-for-care initiative piloted in England in 2005–07: the Individual Budgets (IBs) pilot projects. The paper reports the findings of an evaluation of the impact and outcomes of IBs for carers through analyses of qualitative interviews with IB lead officers, carers' lead officers and carers of IB holders; and analyses of structured outcome interviews with carers of IB holders and carers of people in receipt of conventional social care services. The evaluation found that, despite their primary aim of increasing choice and control for the service user, IBs had a positive impact on carers of IB holders. The findings are important in that they have implications for the widespread roll-out of Personal Budgets in England and may also provide wider valuable lessons nationally and internationally about the tensions between policies to support carers and policies aimed at promoting choice and control by disabled and older people.

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Paying family caregivers: evaluating different models

This chapter provides an overview of different models of financial support for informal carers (that is, the kin and close friends) of older people. These models reflect the institutional and cultural traditions of the broader societies and welfare states of which they are a part. The chapter first argues that the issue of paying informal carers needs to be understood from several different policy perspectives. It then outlines four models of providing financial support for informal care, illustrated with examples from specific countries. The different models are evaluated against a series of questions relating to sustainability; the implications for economic well-being and concepts of citizenship that derive from labour market participation; the balance between individual, family, and social rights and responsibilities; and the quality of care. Finally, the chapter argues that, in order to address these wider policy issues, a number of additional measures to paying informal carers of older people are required.

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Consumer voices steer the course of research

Describes how the Lancashire Dementia Research Group (LADRIG) has given people with dementia and their carers an active role in the development of research projects.

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Informal carers of mentally infirm elderly in Lancashire

Objectives: To investigate the determinants of satisfaction in caregiving and to compare satisfaction in care-giving amongst carers of demented and non-demented mentally infirm elders; and, assess carer attitudes and concerns, and their implications on care in the community.; Design: Cross-sectional study of informal carers of the elderly referred to a psychogeriatric service, using a questionnaire investigating carer satisfaction (CASI), care-recipient dependency needs, carer burden (CADI), carer concerns and attitudes in relation to caregiving, and the 28-item GHQ.; Setting: Lancashire communities of Fleetwood, Thornton-Cleveleys, Poulton-Le-Fylde, and Over-Wyre.; Results: Carers achieved significant degrees of satisfaction in their role as care-givers; there was no significant difference in the degree of satisfaction gained by carers of the demented and non-demented. The mean CASI score, for carers of the demented and non-demented was 23(5.5) and 24.4 (5.7) respectively (mean difference -2.9; CI -4.6, 0.1; p=0.058). Dissatisfaction in care giving was determined by total burden (CADI) scores, and younger carer age. Emotional distress in carers was weakly inversely correlated with CASI scores (r=-0.21, p=0.042). Concerns expressed by carers, included desire for information on care recipient disability (39.5%) and fear of nursing/residential home placements (43%). Most carers had a generally positive attitude to care giving, in spite of significant degrees of burden to which they were subjected. Conclusions: Carer-related factors, particularly younger age, rather than dependency factors, were determinant of care giving satisfaction. Greater involvement of older persons in care giving should be encouraged, with younger persons assisting if care giving becomes overbearing. Carers require education on care-recipient disabilities and the benefits of care in formal care institutions.

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Home care in Italy: a system on the move, in the opposite direction to what we expect

For a long time, the international literature has described the Italian public system of home care for frail elderly people as underfunded and mostly cash-oriented; a system, thus, relying almost entirely on informal care provided by the family and, more recently, by migrant workers. Abroad and in Italy, most experts have long shared the expectation that, if and when, public expenditure devoted to home care was to increase, the outcome would be an expansion in the provision of services in kind. This study analyses how the provision of home care actually has changed in the last decade. The analysis reveals that indeed public expenditure has risen. However, while the system of home-care provision also has changed, it has done so in the opposite direction to that expected. In fact, most of the additional resources have funded an increase in the number of users of the companion payment [Indennità di Accompagnamento (IA)], a cash benefit of €487 per month. In this respect, the Italian welfare system is more cash-oriented than it was 10 years ago. This article discusses the reasons behind the increased uptake of the IA, namely: an increase in the needs and demands of older people; the traits of the Italian welfare system; and the peculiar features of the companion payment itself. The article then looks at why services in kind rose to a lesser degree, pinpoints the main reason as being based on the politics of social care at national level, and finally focuses on the challenges that the Italian home-care system has to face within the changed policy environment with respect to quality of care, carers’ conditions and support for users with high-level needs.

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Mixed blessings: long-term care benefits in Germany

This chapter opens with the movement to long-term care benefits in Germany in 1994 with a two-tiered system of employment-related, contribution-based long-term care insurance (LTCI) and a last resort of tax-funded social assistance. The goals were to reduce the financial burden on the states and municipalities, lessen poverty for care clients, increase long-term care services, expand home- and community-based services and support informal caring, and to prevent or delay institutionalisation. The chapter looks at the methods in which the benefit design in the German system affects employment, and examines the social long-term care insurance scheme. A main characteristic is the choice of cash benefits and benefits in-kind, distinguishing the German LTCI from the long-term care systems in most other countries. The mixed-benefit design of the system considers the institutional framework, funding, beneficiaries and eligibility criteria, the benefits and the special features of the German system, which are an [...]

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Cues for the identification of pain in nursing home residents

The aim of this section of a larger study was to identify the range of cues from which pain was inferred for a sample of residents with various levels of cognitive impairment in 15 UK nursing homes. Sixty-five nursing home staff and 36 informal carers of the 113 residents were interviewed. There was extensive use of body movements, facial expressions, and verbal and vocal cues and a considerable degree of interpretation of cues was used. There was little difference between the types of cue used by formal and informal carers, although informal carers tended to identify more of all types. There were differences in cues identified according to level of cognitive impairment, in particular, the interpretation of body movements. A simple model of the interaction between cognitive deficit, cue type and level of cue interpretation was proposed.

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An evaluation of the impact of voluntary sector family support workers on the quality of life of carers of schizophrenia sufferers

An evaluation was conducted of voluntary sector family support workers (FSWs) working with families of schizophrenia sufferers. FSWs completed a diary schedule and interviews were conducted with 15 co-professionals from the FSWs' multi-disciplinary teams and 62 carers from FSWs' caseloads. Carers' problems were assessed using the burden component of the Social and Behavioural Assessment Schedule and the Lancashire Quality of Life Profile. Carers were asked about the type of support received and their satisfaction. The findings revealed the considerable pressures of caring and highlighted the value perceived by both carers and coprofessionals of the FSW as a counselling, listening, information and advocacy resource. The diary study revealed that FSWs spend 40% of their time providing emotional and/or practical support. The impact of this was suggested by the superior ratings of quality of life and lower burden scores among carers with whom the FSW had longer-term involvement.

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The commodification of care: the Italian way

Italy has one of the highest percentages of older people in Europe, a trend likely to increase faster than elsewhere alongside greater disability. Family support is also weaker through demographic developments and greater female participation in the labour market, and public policies for frail older people are underdeveloped with wide regional variations. The national scheme, the indemnita di accompagnamento (companion payment), is paid to approximately 7.3% of severely disabled people over 65 based on assessment of need. Private care is much greater than public provision of personal services, mainly supplied by individual workers rather than organisations. 'Routed wages' comprise the companion payment of which there are further details relating to funding, target, admittance, purpose and amount, and also local payments for care supplied by regional authorities and municipalities, with the same details listed. Local payments are increasingly widespread, mainly in the north and centre of Italy. There are several [...]

Practitioners’ Perspectives on Choice for Older Spousal Caregivers in Rural Areas

Recent shifts toward individual choice and consumer-directed practices largely conflict with traditional expectations of familial obligation and informal caregiving. The research reported on in this paper aimed to understand how practitioners’ perspectives of spousal caregiving obligations impact on choice in rural communities. Seven focus groups were conducted in rural and outer regional areas of North East Victoria, comprising 42 practitioners who work with older couples who reside in the community. Thematic analysis revealed practitioners’ personal values and constraints of the direct practice environment impact on the experience of choice for older Australians. This discussion considers the problematic nature of choice in policy and practice for older people and their caregivers in light of these findings.

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Similar and yet so different: Cash for Care in six European countries' long-term care policies

Context: In response to increasing care needs, the reform or development of long-term care (LTC) systems has become a prominent policy issue in all European countries. Cash-for-care schemes—allowances instead of services provided to dependents—represent a key policy aimed at ensuring choice, fostering family care, developing care markets, and containing costs.

Methods: A detailed analysis of policy documents and regulations, together with a systematic review of existing studies, was used to investigate the differences among six European countries (Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Sweden). The rationale and evolution of their various cash-for-care schemes within the framework of their LTC systems also were explored.

Findings: While most of the literature present cash-for-care schemes as a common trend in the reforms that began in the 1990s and often treat them separately from the overarching LTC policies, this article argues that the policy context, timing, and specific regulation of the new schemes have created different visions of care and care work that in turn have given rise to distinct LTC configurations.

Conclusions: A new typology of long-term care configurations is proposed based on the inclusiveness of the system, the role of cash-for-care schemes and their specific regulations, as well as the views of informal care and the care work that they require.

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A land not fit for heroes

The government once called carers unsung heroes and promised to legislate to improve their lives. Reports on how many of the measures it has taken have been welcomed but extra cash to ease the acute financial difficulties many endure is still in short supply.

Qualitative evaluation of a young carers' initiative

This focus of this article is a qualitative, evaluative study of three Crossroads young carers projects. Focus group discussions took place with 24 young people aged 11-16 years. Data were analysed using a thematic content analysis approach. The themes of the research were: experiences of being a young carer, peer support, opportunities for time out and purposeful activities. The personal characteristics of the participants give rise to a number of worrying conclusions, that relatively young people were found to be undertaking primary caring roles over long periods of time. However, the groups were found to provide opportunities for young carers to experience a positive environment, participate in purposeful activities and have the chance to develop new friendships. Nevertheless, the literature suggests that provision of such projects is inadequate and under-resourced, which may disadvantage further a group of young people who are known to come from lower income families.

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Carers' policies in the UK

The range of government initiatives which involve carers is extremely broad, with the National Carers Strategy alone containing over 70 pledges. The Strategy takes a holistic approach, referring to almost every aspect of a carer's life from transport to work, from care to housing and from pensions to health. The breadth of issues covered in the Strategy means that it can make only passing reference to significant policy initiatives. This article explores these care, work and cash initiatives to examine in more depth whether this apparent coherence stand up to closer scrutiny.

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Conceptualizing cash for care: the origins of contemporary debates

Feminism rather than gerontology characterises this book but the substantive issues lie within the field of gerontology and the shift in the boundaries of paid and unpaid work at the end of the twentieth and in the early twenty-first centuries. Cash payments for care are a possible method of ensuring care and citizenship. The chapters raise issues of long-term care funding, the positions of users, caregivers and care workers in the care relationship, how care work could be professionalised and support for informal carers. The first chapter summarises the issues involved in the new systems which emerged in the 1990s and the impact of funding regimes, together with the literature which appeared reviewing these policy developments and the policy context. Increased longevity and changes in family structure diminished the number of potential caregivers, particularly in the EU and North America. Containing costs of social care through the funding of retirement pensions and long-term care forms the second major issue [...]

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The Impact of Immersive Outdoor Activities in Local Woodlands on Young Carers Emotional Literacy and Well-Being

Children’s well-being is linked to a complex web of factors including the child’s personality, inherent protective mechanisms, family relationships, social capital, and economic status. Young carers are particularly at risk from poor mental health outcomes and low well-being. In this study the impact of immersive activities in nature on the well-being of 8 young carers (3 girls and 5 boys; aged 9–13 years) was explored. The immersive woodland activities included practical skills such as fire making, cooking, and using tools as well as team building and activities to help build trust. A mixed method, pre-test/post-test approach was undertaken using Emotional Literacy Checklists and interviews, poems and discussion. There were measurable improvements—specifically in motivation and self-awareness—in the young carers’ emotional literacy as reported by the parents and teachers. The well-being indicators that were referenced most frequently by parents and teachers related to the children’s social relationships and their development as individuals. The children reported changes related to social, physical, and “natural connection” well-being.

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Relatives as paid care-givers: how family carers experience payments for care

Payments for care, by which people in need of long-term care directly employ care workers, have been introduced in many European countries. In The Netherlands, care dependants are allowed to use these payments to hire relatives to perform care tasks. Care-givers who are employed by their relatives are in a hybrid position, because they are contracted as employees in the informal setting of a family home and its affective care relationships. This paper reports a qualitative study of relatives' experiences of payments for care and how these affect their care-giving. In-depth interviews were undertaken with 17 paid carers: they were asked to respond to three fictional vignettes of contrasting care trajectories. It was found that the cash nexus had mixed and partly contradictory implications for the paid care-givers. On the one hand, the care-givers were satisfied with the arrangement, as the payments recognised and raised their status as carers, and were seen as reward and reciprocation for their care work. Some carers had found that the contract helped manage strained relationships, by enabling a clearer differentiation of care tasks from affection. On the other hand, some who regarded themselves as employees and saw their role as equivalent to formal carers felt a greater obligation to provide high-quality care, and found that they were thanked less often and received fewer tokens of gratitude.

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Caring for our future: reforming care and support: easy read version of the Government’s White Paper on care and support

Easy read version of the Government White Paper which sets out their vision for a reformed care and support system in England. The White Paper aims to ensure people are kept more independent; have choice and control over their own care and support; can live their lives the way they want and can keep their human rights. Using bullet points this easy read version describes what is meant by care and support; looks at paying for care and support; the problems with care and support at the moment; and how care and support can be made better.

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Dying at home: A qualitative study of family carers’ views of support provided by GPs community staff

Background: Dying at home is the preference of many patients with life-limiting illness. This is often not achieved and a key factor is the availability of willing and able family carers.

Aim: To elicit family carers’ views about the community support that made death at home possible.

Design and setting: Qualitative study in East Devon, North Lancashire, and Cumbria.

Method: Participants were bereaved family carers who had provided care at the end of life for patients dying at home. Semi-structured interviews were conducted 6–24 months after the death.

Results: Fifty-nine bereaved family carers were interviewed (54% response rate; 69% female). Two-thirds of the patients died from cancer with median time of home care being 5 months and for non-cancer patients the median time for home care was 30 months. An overarching theme was of continuity of care that divided into personal, organisational, and informational continuity. Large numbers and changes in care staff diluted personal continuity and failure of the GPs to visit was viewed negatively. Family carers had low expectations of informational continuity, finding information often did not transfer between secondary and primary care and other care agencies. Organisational continuity when present provided comfort and reassurance, and a sense of control.

Conclusion: The requirement for continuity in delivering complex end-of-life care has long been acknowledged. Family carers in this study suggested that minimising the number of carers involved in care, increasing or ensuring personal continuity, and maximising the informational and organisational aspects of care could lead to a more positive experience.

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Journey to independence: how to run your life with direct payments

Presents an easy read guide to obtaining direct payments and choosing a carer. A Direct Payment is a cash payment from a Local Authority, to enable people to purchase their own services. The power to make Direct Payments is given to Local Authorities under the Community Care (Direct Payments) Act 1996, which came into force on the 1st April 1997. Guidance to accompany the Act specifically included people with a learning disability.

Cash for Care: implications for Carers

Providing substantial amounts (particularly over 20 hours a week) of care to a disabled or elderly relative or friend is associated with reduced labour market participation, poverty and adverse psychological and physical health. Many countries have introduced “cash for care” measures. Sometimes their primary objective is to provide financial support for the older or disabled person to help meet the additional costs of needing care. In other instances “cash for care” aims at offering consumer-style choice to older and disabled people. In such instances, benefitting carers, if at all, is a secondary aim. Moreover, these measures differ widely in terms of target group, eligibility criteria, interactions with formal care services, payment levels and whether they are means-tested. Their impact on carers also varies, depending on local labour markets, the availability of formal long-term care services, and, critically important, social attitudes towards the roles of families (and women within families) in caring for older and disabled people. This article provides a critical overview of the main models. 

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Burden of informal carers of mentally infirm eldery in Lancashire

OBJECTIVES: To compare the burden of supporting demented and non-demented mentally infirm elders in an English community; determine the prevalence of emotional distress in carers and to investigate the relationship between carer well being and duration of care giving.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study of informal carers of the elderly referred to a psychogeriatric service, using a questionnaire investigating carer socio-demography, carer-dependant interpersonal relationship in relation to care giving and care-recipient dependency needs using a modified version of the CADI; and, the 28-item GHQ.

SETTING: Lancashire communities of Fleetwood, Thornton-Cleveleys, Poulton- Le-Fylde and Over-Wyre.

RESULTS: Ninety one (72%) carers of the elderly mentally infirm participated in the study. Carers (n = 48) of the demented experienced significantly more burden, including psychological and physical health problems than carers (n = 43) of the non-demented (P = 0.001). The prevalence of emotional distress in all carers was 42% (dementia supporters = 56%, non-dementia supporters = 26%). Emotional distress in supporters was directly related to the degree of difficulties (particularly lack of private time, loss of control in caregiving tasks, patient behavioural problems) experienced in care giving, and, the degree of patient dependency needs. Carer/patient interpersonal relationship tended to worsen as care giving progressed; however, no significant association was established between duration of care and emotional distress in carers. Out of 51 carers receiving respite admission services, six (12%) considered such admissions as additional burden.

CONCLUSIONS: Carer burden, including psychological and physical health concerns, was comparatively greater in carers of the demented than in carers of the non-demented. Respite care services although beneficial to most care givers, may constitute further burden to some. Factors accounting for these observations are explained. To ameliorate carer burden, measures enabling greateravailability of private time, and, improving care giving skills, should be encouraged.

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