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Defining and profiling family carers: reflections from Ireland

The word ‘carer’, meaning family carer, is now widely used, especially in Western cultures. However, it is open to interpretation, is employed differently depending on circumstance, sector and setting, is at times resisted as a label by carers themselves, and is evolving as a term and role. This contribution reviews the term ‘carer’ and how it is understood, with particular reference to Ireland.

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 14:08

Valuing Informal Care in Ireland: Beyond the Traditional Production Boundary

Measures of economic output captured by traditional national account metrics emphasise the importance of paid work over unpaid work which can lead to inefficient policy decision making. We utilise Irish census data to measure the economic value of informal care in Ireland. Our results reveal the considerable value of informal care in Ireland ranging between E2.1 and E5.5 billion, depending on valuation approach.

Mon, 04/08/2019 - 15:27

Investigating the causal relationship between employment and informal caregiving of the elderly

Objective: Examining the causal relationship between employment and informal caring to date has been impeded in countries like Ireland where there is a lack of suitable panel data and/or variables for instrument construction. This paper employs propensity score matching to control for non-random selection into treatment and control groups which controls for differences in employment outcomes between carers and non-carers in Ireland using data from Quarterly National Household Survey 2009 Quarter 3.

Tue, 02/19/2019 - 20:27

Making Implicit Assumptions Explicit in the Costing of Informal Care: The Case of Head and Neck Cancer in Ireland

Background: From a health service perspective, informal care is often viewed as a potentially cost-effective way of transferring costs out of the formal healthcare sector.

Wed, 01/02/2019 - 12:37

Social networks, social support and social negativity: A qualitative study of head and neck cancer caregivers' experiences

Head and neck cancer is a serious form of cancer that can generate substantial physical and psychosocial morbidity. Informal caregivers can help patients to manage head and neck cancer and its emotional impacts, both during and after treatment. Caregivers, however, can experience considerable stress as a result of their caring activities. Supportive relationships can protect caregivers from psychosocial strain.

Wed, 12/19/2018 - 10:03

Time costs associated with informal care for colorectal cancer: an investigation of the impact of alternative valuation methods

Background: A societal perspective in economic evaluation necessitates that all resources associated with a disease or intervention should be valued; however, informal care time costs are rarely considered.

Objective: We estimated time allocated to care by informal carers of colorectal cancer survivors; and investigated the impact of applying alternative valuation methods to this time.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:23

Caring for children with learning disabilities: an exploratory study of parental strain and coping

Despite recurring concerns about the role and appropriate support of informal carers, little is known about the parental experience of caring for children with learning disabilities in Ireland. This study describes and analyses the nature and consequences of care and coping among parents of children (<16) with learning disabilities living in the Greater Dublin area.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:18

Accessing a hard to reach population: reflections on research with young carers in Ireland

In keeping with developments in children's rights, research is increasingly including the views of children. Accessing a hard to reach population of children can, however, raise significant ethical and methodological challenges for researchers. Negotiating access through gatekeepers, securing parental consent and limits on confidentiality are central issues in the recruitment process of children. This paper is based on a qualitative study of young carers in the Irish population.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:17

Alzheimer's disease: the psychological and physical effects of the caregiver's role, part 2

The purpose of this study was to investigate the physical and psychological effects on informal caregivers of looking after a person with Alzheimer’s disease. A descriptive survey was conducted in counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon in Ireland using a simple random sample of caregivers registered with the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Galway, or the Western Alzheimer’s Foundation. The findings from the study show that a significant proportion of caregivers reported poor self-rated health and depression. Restless sleep and a decreased tolerance for pain were also common.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:12

Burden of informal carers in northwest Ireland: A pilot study of factors that influence burden

Introduction Research has shown that approximately 67% of carers experience extreme mental tiredness, a decrease in their quality of life and a deterioration in their physical health since taking on a care-giving role. Aims and objectives This study aims to identify factors that influence carer burden and in doing so, identify the sub-populations of carers who are most susceptible to burden. Methods In northwest Ireland, 53 informal carers referred to the Carers Association, Sligo were contacted and met for a face-to-face interview.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:11