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Assessment and support for South Asian carers

This small study, funded by the Sir Halley Stewart Trust, was designed to test out the effectiveness with Asian carers and value of newly translated versions (Gujarati and Urdu) of instruments previously used mainly with white English carers: Carers’ Assessment of Difficulties Index (CADI) and Carers’ Assessment of Satisfactions Index (CASI). It also aimed to use these measures to gain an improved understanding of how Asian carers perceived the difficulties and satisfactions of caring. The key findings were:

  • The majority of the 26 carers interviewed found CADI/CASI to be intelligible and relevant. They did not identify any major areas not covered by original versions. First language versions were generally acceptable, although most chose also to refer to the English form. Most carers described the process of completing CADI/CASI as helpful in terms of improved understanding and affirmation of their caring role.
  • Carers identified the main sources of stress of caring as relating to taking a break, time for family and friends, and the degree of personal care they needed to provide.
  • Carers highlighted sources of satisfaction of caring that mainly related to their sense of family duty and religious faith, personal growth and development, the person cared for reaching their full potential, and being brought closer together by caring.
  • Carers valued and tended to prefer support from the familiar, for example Asian workers and support groups. Yet it was also important to be able to respect and rely on a worker who was supportive and available regardless of ethnicity.
  • Only three of the carers were certain they had received a formal assessment of their carer needs, although ten others were confident they had been subject to some form of wider care assessment. Most of this group of carers were aware that a right to assessment existed.
  • Six of these households had not received any formal care support beyond contact with social workers. The carers who had received help were positive about the support, with some saying they would have liked more help. A few complained about not receiving support even when their circumstances were known to services.
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