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Voices of care for adults with disabilities and/or mental health issues in Western Canada: what do families and agencies need from each other?

Our purpose in this paper is to report on the frustrations and unmet needs of paid, formal caregivers and unpaid, family caregivers who together provide care to adults with disabilities and/or mental health issues. We conducted eight focus group interviews between November 2010 and June 2011 in two large, urban centres and one smaller centre in Western Canada. Four of our focus groups were with family members including adults with disabilities and/or mental health issues, their parents and their siblings, and four were with representatives from agencies providing support and services to adults with disabilities and/or mental health issues and their families. Data were collected from 23 family members and 24 agency representatives who responded to questions about successes and struggles in meeting, and collaborating to meet, care needs of adults with disabilities and/or mental health issues. Each focus group session was digitally recorded and transcribed; field notes were also taken and we thematically analysed data according to family versus agency perspectives of their successes and barriers in care provision and care collaboration. We found that family members desire greater and more effective support in enriching the lives of adults with disabilities and/or mental health issues and in preparing for age-related changes. Agency representatives are keenly aware of the needs and challenges faced by families, yet grapple with being effective collaborators with families of widely varying priorities and styles of care and collaboration.

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Additional Titles
Health and Social Care in the Community

Key Information

Type of Reference
Jour
ISBN/ISSN
0966-0410
Resource Database
Hmic
Publication Year
2014
Issue Number
2
Volume Number
22
Start Page
178-186
Language
English