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Rural dementia carers: formal and informal sources of support

Primary carers provide much of the day-to-day care for community-dwelling people living with dementia (PWD). Maintaining that contribution will require a more in-depth understanding of the primary carer role and the support needs that flow from that role. This study explored patterns of formal and informal support utilisation by people caring for a PWD in a rural-regional context. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 rural primary carers of a PWD and thematically analysed.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:19

Transitions into informal caregiving and out of paid employment of women in their 50s

Data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health were used to study the order of events leading to informal caregiving and changes in labour force participation in mid-aged women, taking into account health and socioeconomic status. This analysis included 9857 women who responded to the third (2001) and fourth (2004) surveys and provided data for the caring and employment variables used. Caring was defined as providing care for an ill, frail or disabled person at least 7 h/wk. Between 2001 and 2004, the proportion of women caring increased from 12 to 14%.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:18

Bereaved informal cancer carers making sense of their palliative care experiences at home

This qualitative study explored the positive meanings constructed and ascribed to the experience of providing palliative care at home by bereaved informal cancer carers, a group of individuals who are in a position to make sense of their caring experiences as a coherent whole. Twenty-two bereaved cancer carers, living in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, were interviewed as part of a larger mixed-method study examining the experience of informal cancer care. Participants were recruited through cancer support groups and cancer clinics, and through the Cancer Council NSW.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:18

Is caring a health hazard? The mental health and vitality of carers of a person with a disability in Australia

OBJECTIVE: To compare the mental health and vitality of people caring for a family member with a disability with those of the general population. Second, to identify factors experienced by carers that put them at risk of poor mental health and vitality.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:17

Carer participation in mental health service delivery

There is increasing emphasis on enhancing consumer and carer participation in the planning and provision of mental health services. However, health professionals, consumers, and carers have different perceptions about what constitutes optimal care; identifying, negotiating, and meeting their respective needs can be challenging. The aim of the paper is to highlight the challenges of facilitating carer participation in daily practice and emphasise the broader issues that would benefit from more extensive discussion among health professionals.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:16

Understanding the use of respite services among informal carers

Objective: To examine the use of respite services among carers of non-institutionalised individuals aged 15 and over with either profound or severe disabilities. Methods: Based on data collected from the Australian Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers in 2003, the investigation evaluated the statistical significance of a number of carer and recipient characteristics on the likelihood of the use of respite services. Further analysis assisted in identifying the support most desired by the majority of carers (88.6%, n=243690) who have never used respite.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:16

When and how to initiate discussion about prognosis and end-of-life issues with terminally ill patients

The aim of this study was to explore by whom, how, and when discussions about prognosis and end-of-life issues should be initiated with terminally ill patients, and the context in which these issues can be optimally discussed. Focus groups and individual interviews were conducted with 19 palliative care (PC) patients, 24 carers, and 22 PC health professionals (HPs). Participants had disparate views regarding by whom and when such discussions should be initiated, although a similar range of perspectives was expressed by all participant groups.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:16

Hospital versus home care for the acutely mentally ill? Preferences of caregivers who have experienced both forms of service

Objective: Demonstration studies of community treatment as an alternative to hospitalization have reported high degrees of satisfaction by family carers. We aimed to determine the extent of carer preference for hospital versus community treatment for acute mental illness in a routine setting where carers had experienced both service types.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:15

Discussing prognosis and end-of-life care in the final year of life: a randomised controlled trial of a nurse-led communication support programme for patients and caregivers

Introduction Timely communication about life expectancy and end-of-life care is crucial for ensuring good patient quality-of-life at the end of life and a good quality of death. This article describes the protocol for a multisite randomised controlled trial of a nurse-led communication support programme to facilitate patients’ and caregivers’ efforts to communicate about these issues with their healthcare team.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:15

Community care: challenging the assumption of gratuitous care

This paper critically examines the reliance of formal home-based services upon the availability of informal carers and questions whether the level of informal assistance is sustainable. The paper challenges the 'taken for granted' assumptions of community care and contends that residential care should be seen in terms of a transition - a 'safe harbour' both for recipients and carers.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:15