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Informal carers

Keeping carers healthy: the role of community nurses and colleagues

Carers form a substantial proportion of the patients seen by primary care professionals, but their health needs are often overlooked. By recognizing and addressing the needs of the carer as well as the patient, primary care staff (including practice, community and district nurses) can protect the physical and mental health of both. Staff can start by developing simple systems for identifying and recording both patients who are carers, and patients who have carers. Primary health professionals may be able to identify specific opportunities for checking on carers’ health, e.g.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:17

A qualitative analysis of changes in relationship dynamics and roles between people with cancer and their primary informal carer

It is widely accepted that cancer is an intersubjective experience that impacts upon the psychological well-being of people with cancer and informal carers, as well as on couple relationships. This qualitative study examined the nature and consequences of cancer on the relationship between informal carers and the person with cancer, from the perspective of Australian cancer carers. Sixty-two carers (42 women and 20 men), across a range of cancer types, stages and relationship dyads took part in semi-structured interviews.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:17

British Indian carers of stroke survivors experience higher levels of anxiety and depression than White British carers: findings of a prospective observational study

Carers of stroke survivors face significant burdens, and increased carer strain has negative implications for both the stroke survivor and the carer. In a prospective cohort of White British and British Indian stroke survivors and their carers, we report the incidence of carer strain in each ethnic group, describe patient and carer characteristics, and identify predictors of increased carer strain. Multidimensional outcome measures were used to assess the physical and cognitive function in stroke survivors at one month and 3-6 months from stroke onset.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:16

Implications for carers of terminally ill patients dying at home

Most terminally ill patients will express a wish to die at home. To achieve this, patients must rely on the support of family carers, who may experience emotional and health difficulties in providing such care, both before and after the death. Healthcare professionals can help to relieve the burden on family carers, and there is guidance available to direct GPs and other community healthcare professionals on providing good anticipatory palliative care for patients, and support for carers.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:15

Working in partnership with adult informal carers: policy and practice

In England and Wales alone, more than 5 million informal carers provide support to individuals who wish to remain within their own homes. However, research has identified that there is a limited understanding of the informal carer role among health professionals, and deficits in information sharing and the involvement of informal carers in decision making in relation to care packages. This article considers recent policy relating to this area, placing particular emphasis on the role of the district nurse in working in partnership with informal carers.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:14

'Sustaining Place' - a grounded theory of how informal carers of people with dementia manage alterations to relationships within their social worlds

Aims and objectives: This paper presents a theory explaining the processes used by informal carers of people with dementia to mange alterations to their, and people with dementias' relationships with and places within their social worlds.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:14

Capturing the carer's experience: a researcher's reflections

AIM: To reflect on the methodological challenges of conducting a study exploring the effects on quality of life of being an informal carer for a person with palliative heart failure, as well as the factors that influence a carer's perception of caring.

BACKGROUND: There are multi-faceted influences on the positive and negative effects of being a carer for a patient with palliative heart failure. By conducting a mixed methods study the aim was to examine and explore similarities and differences of the phenomenon of being a carer.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:12

The Impact of Caring on Informal Carers' Employment, Income and Earnings: a Longitudinal Approach

In Australia the policy balance has shifted away from institutional forms of health and aged care towards supporting people in their own homes. This change presupposes a significant and growing supply of informal caring labour. A large proportion of informal carers (40–60 per cent) currently combine paid employment with their caring responsibilities. Using the longitudinal Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey, the paper examines the effect of caring on employment, hours worked and earnings. The analysis shows that working age carers experience disadvantage.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:12

What do informal carers need from district nursing services? (Cover story)

More than 5 million informal carers provide support to individuals who wish to remain within their own homes. The role of informal carers in maintaining people within their own homes has been identified as crucial. This article considers the assessment of need of informal carers in the primary care setting, placing particular emphasis on the role of the district nurse as an advocate for informal carers when working with other health and social care service providers.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:10

The carer's place in the cancer situation: where does the carer stand in the medical setting?

Recent thinking about policy on cancer services in the UK has highlighted the importance of recognising the needs of carers, but is unclear about the ways in which this might be done. Our recent study on the psychosocial needs of cancer patients and their main informal carers was unusual in its combined focus on patients and carers experiencing the ‘cancer journey’ together. One of our aims was to contribute to an understanding of what it means to be the main carer of someone with cancer.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:10