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Evaluating the SPECAL approach to care

SPECAL is a person-centred approach to the care of people with dementia which could also have the potential to reduce carer stress and lead to improvements in quality of life for people with dementia and their carers. The approach prioritises meaning over detail. It has 'three golden rules' for the care: do not ask direct questions, learn from the expert by listening and discovering what is important to the person with dementia, and do not contradict. This article describes the origins and rationale of SPECAL.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:19

What a difference three hours can make

Val Bunn and Caroline Baker describe a home-based respite service that carers say has made an enormous difference to their lives, and the lives of those they care for.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:19

Cooking up a problem in the kitchen

Changes in cooking, food preparation and eating habits may give rise to concern among relatives of people with dementia. Jill Manthorpe, Roger Watson and Anne Stimpson report on survey findings on this theme, and draw out messages for services

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:19

Blue skies in the "Journal of Mental Health"? Consumers in research. Editorial

Describes a new strand in this journal in its coverage of research that involves mental health service users and is important to their concerns. Looks at some of the ways in which service user involvement can change research and heralds the dawn of a new era where service users and informal carers are not just the subjects of investigation, but can now have an effect on an influential research forum. (Quotes from original text)

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:19

Carers are not always seeking out the support they may need

'Hidden carers' refers to informal carers who may not recognise themselves as carers and so do not, or struggle to, access support. This may apply to carers of people with long-term conditions, such as heart disease, whose role involves more emotional work than practical tasks.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:19

'Pick and mix': supporting carers to have a break

The short break services provided by Heritage Care to help both people with learning disabilities and their carers is presented. The article explains how the introduction of personal budgets (including Individualised Service Funds) has enabled the organisation to develop more customised and flexible services. The organisation provides both residential and outreach services.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:19

Employment rights for informal carers

As you may have heard, the Queen’s Speech, which opened the 2008-2009 parliamentary year, included reference to the importance of rights for informal carers (House of Commons, 2008). I am no stranger to the world of informal caring as many of you may know. Indeed, I have made it no secret and frequently mention it at the annual Royal College of Nursing Congress and have done so since 2001.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:19

Pause for thought

Carers are often too wrapped up in their duties to think about their needs. This article reports on a pilot project in Kensington and Chelsea, run by charity wpf Counselling and Psychotherapy and funded by the council. The project aimed to offer carers of older people and people with mental health problems counselling to help them gain independence. The article also contains a brief case study.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:19

Caring for Carers: Recognising, Valuing and Supporting the Caring Role

The article focuses on a strategy meant for providing support for carers across Northern Ireland. The strategy quotes census figures indicating that there are more than 185,000 unpaid carers in Northern Ireland, equating to about 11 percent of the population. Carers need some help and support to enable them to continue in their caring role. The strategy include the identification of those acting in a caring role, information for carers, support services, the special needs of young carers and training and employment.

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:19

Professional backup

Alan Simpson explains how nurses can learn to support carers of people with mental health problems. 2 refs. [Introduction]

Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:19

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